Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gathering Time

The Tulip Poplar’s leaves are shaking in the faintly chill winds.
Autumn is here.
 And with the Autumn there always comes some speculation;
when to gather in all the garden things.
Do we risk the freeze and gain a few days,
or even weeks, of growing?
We play a guessing game with the blue-sky-white-cloud days
which turn into clear, icy-starred nights that bring the first frost.
This week we gave in and gathered all that was left in the garden.
Everything that is, other than the greens, which are tougher than autumn frosts.

 There were lots of peppers to chop and freeze,

A few handfuls of salvaged green beans, 

Green tomatoes,

And what’s left of the eggplant and tomatillos.

I made a new discovery this fall.  When I tried a very small underdeveloped cantaloupe
that had been sitting on an already dead vine, it tasted like a cucumber!
So I’ve been using cantaloupe in my salads!
It passed my kid’s taste tests and Nathan’s, who likes it better than cucumber
– there’s no bitter aftertaste.
Who woulda thunk it?

Our row of sweet potatoes (15 plants) produced 160 pounds of taters!
Amazing!  I hear you can use them in place of pumpkin.
Sounds like a good idea.

 The Cosmos are blooming, oblivious to the coming cold, 

But the bees seem to know what’s coming,
working as long as the sun shines.

 The “pumpkin squash” produced only three fruits.
But they’re large enough that I think that small number might be a good thing! 
 These twelve pound squash have turned into “Zach” and “Rosabelle” (Rosabelle being
one of my daughters’ favorite made up names) wrapped in tea towel blankets.
They’re being toted all around the house.
I may feel a little guilty chopping them up and cooking them. L

 We picked some crab apples for Aunt Violet.  She likes to make jelly.
I cannot bring myself to make jam other than strawberry and blackberry,
because no matter how delicious a jam is, strawberry and blackberry are still better.

Fall makes me want to do all I can, like the bees, before winter comes.

I also think of it in a deeper way and contemplate the verses
in the book of Ephesians, chapter five:
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

Time goes on and our world does not become better.
Let’s not waste our days!
Gathering time is not only something that happens in the garden.
“For once you were full of darkness, 
but now you have light from the Lord.
So live as people of light!”

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