Thursday, September 1, 2011

The End of Summer Garden

Well, the summer gardening is winding down for 2011. By the end of the weekend everything will be collected canned and waiting for consumption. This year's garden has yielded many pints and quarts of pickles, tomatoes, green beans, corn, salsa, and other nutritious items. This was my first year to actually can vegetables. Previously I had limited myself to growing items that I could freeze or consume. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and look forward to it again next year.

This year I learned to can. I really enjoy the process of preserving good food. I'm not sure how we lost this art to a generation. I guess that we live in a culture devoted to ease and comfort. We treasure conveniences, and if something good requires work, we assume that we need to be paid. Whatever happened to working for a sense of accomplishment. I like to work in my kitchen and work at my own pace. I find that I can accomplish a lot. When I look over the canning seasons and see my shelves full of wonderful things to eat. I feel accomplished. Frequently, in my office these days, I cannot say that. I work all day and see no tangible product. A few sheets of paper have been shuffled from my desk to another's desk. But I can't hold up something and say "Look, I made something". This is why I love making things, growing gardens, and quilting. These are real skills that product something. For me, these are the things that are important in life.

So as the summer closes and fall leads us into the dark winter. I will find other ways to fill my time, I will quilt, I will go to school, and I will work. But mostly I'll start planning for next years garden. I will plan what to plant, and where to plant it, I will decide which plant will get thinned out, and which one need the most nurturing, but mostly what I get is to be nurtured. I find my spirit in my garden in both cool and hot days. I find my spirit sore when I'm one in cooperation in the earth. I feel most human when my Pisces hands are dug deeply into that warm, damp earth. Thanks for the wonderful summer, and what promises to be a Fall full of apple butter, jelly, and homeade mustard, and anything else that I can put in a glass jar.

Food is life! Not McDonalds!