In the valley flax fires are burning, the smoke
billowing up and dissipating into the cloudy day. Tractors are at work and in the distance one can hear the sound of combines in the field commencing the canola harvest.
I’ve got bags of leaves, from a city yard, to put on top of my hydrangeas, hollyhocks and the Alpine current. The vegetable garden lays empty; the only colour coming from the brilliant green of the asparagus and the deep crimson red of the hedge.
While the outside work winds up there is still much to do inside. A plethora of carrots, too many for the fridge, become carrot soup, pickles and muffins. The never ending tomatoes require attention every day. Yesterday’s smoked ones become part of a big pot of borscht; made as a helping hand for friends. They also land in a huge pot of chili; all headed for the freezer.
Which groans under the weight of saskatoons, peas, beans, raspberries, apple pie filling, beets, borscht,….. The list goes on. Soon to be joined by the meat from 2 pigs we’ve been watching grow.
The cold storage room is bursting at the seams as well. Although the potato harvest wasn’t stellar there are still 3 bags. A box of onions sits beside two cabbages that need attention and a bag of welcome parsnips, a hard to grow veggie out here.
The shelves are sturdy enough not to groan under the weight of pickles, jams, jellies, peaches, tomatoes of many descriptions and the ever present and most popular raspberry vinegar.
And (I know it’s wrong to start a sentence with and but somehow this one seems to need it) it all takes time. I never lament the assortment and variety but by the time the last item, usually a large pumpkin, is sorted and dealt with I’m done. Eating so well takes a lot of concentrated effort. It’s been fabulous this year that I’m not usually still plugging away in the kitchen at 9:30 at night like when I worked full time. I did peaches for the first time in a decade.
All this, plus a lot of lovely grandchildren bonding, seems to have eaten into special project time. I hope, and realistically it seems possible, that I will find more time in November. I will have finished harvest, gone back to one casual job and have only a few other major commitments on the go.
And that’s how this retired person keeps busy! Fully blessed with the gratitude a good harvest brings.