Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Trees of the Field Shall Yield Their Fruit

"I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit." Leviticus 26:4

While I have been otherwise occupied with my "living in town" existence, harvest has started out there in the fields.  It is a time of action and sensory overload and a very defining time of year in areas where agriculture is a dominant industry.  Back in 2006, when my more forward thinking law school classmates were wearing suits and working in law firms for the summer, I chose to study abroad in Norway and finish the summer by lifeguarding in Fargo at the pool I had previously worked at.  I often wonder if those decisions were detrimental to my long term success but while I was living them those days were some of the happiest in my life.  One hot evening in August I was stationed high on the water slide tower and my nose caught the very familiar smell of freshly cut wheat and I noticed a haze hanging over the flat expanse of Fargo and I knew what was happening.  When I returned into the office for my break, I started gushing about how good it smelled and how pretty the hazy sky looked and was met with complaints about allergies and dust generally blank looks.  If it's not ingrained in you, it's hard to understand.  I should have waited to talk about it with my one farm raised co-worker, with who I regularly shared stories, laughed hysterically, and commiserated about the pre-teen horrors of getting dropped off at the swimming pool in a grain truck in front of all the town kids, waiting for 45 minutes to get picked up from basketball practice because some farm machinery crisis was occupying our families and losing various cats and kittens to their perilous existence among tractors and trucks. 

Although it's later than usual this year the garden is producing it's bounty as harvest is starting around the state.  It feels weird that I'm not at the farm experiencing wheat harvest but at least I've got our garden here to pick from every day.  Yesterday, I stopped there twice! 

It's tomato time, and this year we planted four plants.  You can see three of the varieties below:

They are yellow cherry, red grape, and beefsteak.  The fourth plant is a variety of heirloom tomato called "Mr. Stripey" that ripens with yellow and red stripes but they are still quite green.  Ben loves helping pick tomatoes and he also wants to hold them in each hand on the drive home from the garden.  The logical final step in this continuum would be him eating them, but I couldn't get that lucky! 

We only planted one cucumber plant and I forgot how productive just one plant can be.  A person can only eat so many cucumber slices, and for some reason I was reminded of refrigerator pickles.  I haven't made them for a few years. 

Mmmmmm....brine...The cucumbers and onion are all grown by me!  Although not every recipe asks for it, I added some fresh dill sprigs since there is quite a bit of it growing voluntarily in the garden.  I forgot how delicious and nostalgic the smell of it is.  Yummy yummy yummy.  I want to pick more and put it in a vase!

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