Roughly 45lbs of food, that’s what came out of the garden that I share with my friend David yesterday. I will admit there was apple tree involved and apples are heavy. Still, it’s an impressive haul from just an average small town back yard. I haven’t been consistent about weighing the food that I harvest, but this makes me wonder. How much have I gotten from the garden this year and how much is there? Is it 200lbs, 500, a 1,000?
In any case, it the experience is worth its weight in gold. The dog and I walk the few blocks over to David’s house where I unleash Bella to let her lay in the shade while I weed and discover the bounty. Depending on the amount to harvest and the number of mosquitoes we may be there a few minutes or a few hours. If David is home we enjoy some visiting while we’re there.
Yesterday I found a butternut squash where I thought I’d accidentally killed off the vine. It was great find. Earlier this summer I was awed by lettuce that kept producing tasty leaves even in the hottest days of July. I can’t say that I ever find this kind of joy and wonder in the aisles of the supermarkets looking at the harvests trucked in from 500 miles away.
I spent most of my day yesterday in my kitchen watching movies on my computer while making spaghetti sauce for winter, freezing carrots, drying apples, baking granola, and making a bit of cucumber salad. I still have quite a bit of that 45 lbs of produce to preserve so I’ll be back at it tonight. But, it brings me such simple joy.
I spend the time engulfed the sweet and savory smells of my creations eyeing the wonders that I had the good fortune to harvest, being awed just that they’re real. I get to bathe in the memories other times and other kitchens with friends and family, so much laughter and so much love.
I think a lot about convenience. I think about how we were sold the idea of processed foods in the 1950’s. We were told they were convenient, time savers. Yes, I spent a wonderful day yesterday enjoying the food I grew and harvested. I got to spend time with my dog and cats, just being at home and being creative. I don’t know a better use of that time. I am glad I didn’t give it away to something else less valuable. I am confident too, that there will be times this winter that I will be glad of my pre-prepared sauces and soups and other wonders that I can heat in just a few minutes for supper that were made in my kitchen and not a science lab with food not food-like substances.