02 November 2008

Settling the Harvest

The older I have gotten, the more I have been intrigued and open to sustainability and locality in food. I doubt I will ever be quite as devoted as Barbara Kingsolver's family in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I like bananas too much, my children believe that ketchup and Rice Krispie Treats are major food groups...but the ability to grow my own food, the canning and preserving books I found myself taking out of the library, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of my Life.

I planted a garden for the first time this year. A little ambitious for my square footage, and my blueberry and rosemary bushes died over the summer. I should know better, I always kill rosemary. But, I did reap some harvest, and learned what I do and do not want to try next year. Yes to tomatoes, kale, basil, carrots and onions; no to lettuce, squash, broccoli. My harvest won't be enough to survive on, but will certainly supplement what I would normally buy, and lower food costs in the end.

I got a CSA share this summer also. A large bag of produce, organically grown, each week from Many Hands Organic Farm. I was happy with the experience; it was something I had been wanting to do since moving to MA. However, I am not sure if I will redo it next year. I am not as adventurous in cooking as I wish to be, and I cannot take something out of the bag and say, "Yes! I am so happy that I got another three heads of lettuce!" (I am really over lettuce this summer) I was introduced to some vegetables that I didn't know and come to love: chard, tatsoi, but do not know if the cost vs. the quantity in my home is worth the full summer share. However MHOF does spring and late fall shares also, and I am pondering those choices for next year.

Yesterday I cooked up the pumpkins I had accumulated the last few weeks from the share and roadstands and made pumpkin puree to freeze. I have a bag of apples to make into applesauce and can. I have several gallon bags of berries in my small freezer to make into jam and preserves also.

I need to pull up the tomato stakes and cover the garden plot for the winter. I had planned to set garlic, and may still. That will winter over until spring, like many other bulbs.

This experience has made me more aware of the passage of time. Farming depends on the seasons, and the whims of Mother Nature. I am grateful to be part of that cycle now.

1 comment:

  1. I love hearing about your gardening and food preserving adventures! I hear you about the lettuce-- we have been overwhelmed with lettuce from our farm share for a long time. Now you are making me think about the five pumpkins sitting on my windowsill, waiting to be transformed into pumpkin puree. Now I'm hungry. :)
    Jen

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