For some reason, whenever I think of writing this post, the above hymn comes to mind. We are truly living in the bounty of the Lord, of Mother Nature, of this earth, this valley. "Tickle the earth with a hoe, and it will laugh a harvest." Indeed. The harvest has been plentiful this year, thanks to my Dad's (and Owen's) hard work.
All summer we've enjoyed our own onions, broccoli, kohlrabi, squash, zucchini, cabbage, strawberries, greens, peppers, beans, cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes. Add to that our herbs: basil, rosemary, oregano, chives, cilantro, mint, thyme, parsley. My freezer is packed with beans, shredded squash, zucchini bread (I have made more than a dozen loaves, some for the freezer, some already enjoyed, some given as gifts). Some days, Dad will even add something from his other garden--corn, or potatoes-- and we will, quite literally, feast.
Last weekend, Dad and I went to the local tomato farm (the same place we usually get strawberries earlier in the year). He picked heirlooms that were a pound a piece. The farmer, a friend and local county commissioner, got us a box of Romas, rerouted from their intended destination (New York) in order to stay local. We gave him a hard time about it, but he said the local demand isn't there when he needs it to be. It's a shame.
We spent the weekend canning. Dad made salsa (we've already eaten two or three of the jars). Together we canned the heirlooms in their own juice. They'll be good for soups this winter. I hoped to make some sauce and can it this week, but didn't get to it. The Romas, hopefully, will be forgiving and allow me to do it this weekend.
Now, in the garden, a few beans remain, some tomatoes, some peppers. Okra is beginning to fruit. Our black beans are turning a lovely shade of purple. We have pulled the squash.The bush beans and pole beans are withering. As are the cucumbers. The cabbage is gone. Swiss chard stands as our remaining greens--Owen likes to pick it for dinosaur food (I found some in the bathtub this morning, staining the fiberglass a nice shade of purple). The strawberry plants are flourishing, promising a good harvest next spring.
The sunflowers stand tall, right in the middle of it all.
I love the sunflowers.
It is hot, now, and dry, but soon we'll plant the fall garden: more cabbage, onions, broccoli, maybe this time some spinach. And the feast will continue as long as the earth provides.
Then it'll be time to plan next year's garden. After all, "A garden is never so good as it will be next year," says Thomas Cooper. I believe him. Next year, we'll plant asparagus, garlic, more tomatoes, more lettuce. It'll be grand. Wait and see.