Growing up on a farm, fall was harvest time. Barring any catastrophic weather conditions, it was the time to reap what was sowed, literally.
Corn and beans were picked; oats and wheat were thrashed, what was left was the barren field that when turned pure black.
Still today, I bask in the color contrasts of the fields. The golden oats and corn stalks set against the blackness of the field provide such a stage for a color show.
Autumn is also the time to harvest the fruits and vegetables of the garden. There is such a feeling of prosperity when one can walk in your back yard and pluck, pull, or pick the ingredients for a lunch, dinner, or dessert.
I find such satisfaction in harvesting my “crops.” I also enjoy watching my children scamper out to the garden to pick some raspberries for a quick snack or pull out a stalk of rhubarb to dip in some sugar.
This past weekend was the ultimate in harvest happiness for me. Our day’s meals consisted of fresh ingredients all from the Sebora field (garden), herb garden (container), and orchard (apple trees). I was basking in garden glory.
The day started with baking a homemade apple pie with the best apples in town, picked right from our trees. The smell of an apple pie baking certainly brings out feelings of nostalgia and scents that arouse the feelings of security and home.
As the pie was baking, homemade spaghetti sauce was next on the recipe list. I walked out to the garden with my large enamel pot and returned with a pot full of tomatoes, onions, and green peppers. Then, I made my way to the herbs to cut some oregano, parsley, and basil to spice up the spaghetti sauce and to awaken the senses.
To top off our harvest meal, our children picked a bowl of raspberries from our raspberry patch and plucked a watermelon from its vine.
Spaghetti with homemade sauce, apple pie and fresh raspberries and watermelon filled our supper table and our appetites. It is always amazing to me that a little seed, bulb or root manifests itself into such tangible rewards.
A garden’s bounty is a reward. After planting seeds in some black dirt, sprinkled with sunshine, water (and maybe some MiracleGro), and patience throughout the growing season, that seed turns into a vine or a sprout or a bud and then into a plant that produces its harvest its “crowning glory.”
Next in our harvest will be the annual picking of the pumpkins; this time, Cinderella variety and gourds that truly represent fall in its color display.
The soil will then be barren, churned and resting for the season approaching, to be awakened again when spring arrives in all of its glory.
In “The Autumn Garden” in 1905, Rose Kingsley wrote, “In the garden, autumn is indeed the crowning glory of the year bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil. And at no season, safe perhaps is daffodil time, do we get such superb colour effects as from August to November.”