Late Summer days are golden. Sunflowers splash their golden faces over the fields. Sunrises are golden or fiery red. Pumpkins line up, promising warm cinnamon scented meals in the cold days to come. Ripening tomatoes in Autumn shades of red, orange, green and gold hang from the vines and fill baskets on the kitchen counter. Beans dry in their browning pods. Gooseberries wait for picking, concealing their fruit in papery packages. The scent of sweet figs fills the house as we preserve the fleeting fruit, picked before the birds can steal them.
Our days are filled with harvest work. Sweet plunder is collected in jars as hives are robbed. Bottles of tomato ketchup line up on the kitchen table, each coloured according to the heirloom variety used. Jewelled jars of fig preserve hint of promised mouthwatering combinations, their sweetness contrasting with salty, savoury blue cheese. Trays of red and yellow cherry tomatoes shrivel and dry, sharpening their flavours. A pumpkin is carved up for fritters, soup, baking and bredie.
We gather. We pick. We sort. We share. We blanche. We freeze. We syrup. We jam. We pickle. We dry. We store. We prepare.
We do not sit. The harvest produces relentlessly. It will not wait. We work now.