And this is the pirate season -- passing among the rows, pilfering the wealth that you may have nudged along but did not create. The leaves and fruits are wondrous enough, and we have been consumed with pickling spices, brines, sterilizing, chopping, slicing, stewing, blanching, canning and freezing. But recent days have literally taken us subterranean. Yellowing foliage signaled an invitation to dig garlic -- all 120 feet of it. We dug and pulled and gathered and ultimately arranged the stalks on tables in the barn in the drying breeze of two fans. And then yesterday, before the rains commenced, a similar clue was offered among the potato rows.
And struck it rich. A five-gallon bucket filled with the Golds and half a bucket with the Reds now, like the garlic, spread before the fans to dry and cure a bit before sampling. In the coming weeks we will see what might be excavated from the remaining rows, but just this one was satisfying delight.
And then, making one more pass among the tomato vines as the sky darkened and the drops began to fall, I found one more surprise -- a tomato anomaly; a mutant, I suppose, or a twin...or a heart shaped delight -- dangling there to impress upon me yet again that harvest is not a mechanized manufacture -- a designed and endlessly duplicated widget repetitively spit out of a machine -- but nature's whimsically capricious kiss. And the best fruit of all...
...is the smile on my face as I lug the baskets and the buckets back to the kitchen.