Thursday, February 13, 2014

Summer Harvest

I was up early this morning, taking our puppy, Kariba, out for her morning walk. The golden sunrise caught my breath in it's magnificence. I strolled over the dew-damp grass to check on Joy and her two day old calf, Rumble. She stared at me from across the field as he greeted the cool morning suckling warm milk to fill his belly. I wandered along the back fence, picking gooseberries and then a few cherry tomatoes.

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.

The ancient grape vine is laden with purpling gems. The strawberry popcorn stalks fade from green as their  hidden red kernels harden in the summer heat. Sun-yellow jerusalem artichoke flowers and tansy buttons grace our table.

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.


  1. Those sunflowers are just breathtaking! And I love the sentiments that you share in this post. So simple, down to earth and lovely!

    1. Thanks Shirley. I catch my breath every time I drive past the sunflowers on the way to town.