Late Summer’s Gifts – Ripe blazing colours that taste as strong and sweet as the air in the field

Many of my friends were pulling full heads of lettuce out of the ground in June. I had barely been planting much by then, although I was relishing my pickaxe and how I can now plant anything I want anywhere I can slam it into the land. It’s a grey day and no promise of anything other than more grey––the rain has been unspectacular, no thunder. I made a pie from not ripe peaches, hoping the cooking of it would miraculously make them flavourful and ripe seeming. Then with the extra crust I made a small blueberry pie, using the large BC blueberries, although I believe the smaller ones to be more flavourful. After all of this activity and endlessly washing dishes and raw pie goop off of everywhere, and eating some pie, and feeling quite full (summer demands we comsume beer, pie, ice cream), I decided to take a walk out in the yard and to the back of the lot. It’s amazing to see all of the edibles ripening. I get my tomato seedlings down the road from a woman, Vicki, who produces over 150 different kinds of heirloom tomatoes.

I bought and planted five. Everyday now, I have enough for a salad. I’ll buy some bushels for my tomato sauce later this month. I had reconciled myself to not having any raspberries this year, this being the second season of the raspberry bush. Sometime late in the season they appeared, not red yet and I wonder if it will happen. But today I did notice two absolutely red and ready and after I took this picture we ate them. I wandered to the back of the field and found that our old apple tree, in dormancy last year, had yielded a huge amount of apples, many of them on the ground now. On the way back to the house, judging by the amount of deer poop on the ground, I figured that the deer were making good use of the apples. Half way back I noticed that our juniper trees, red cedar we usually call them, are covered with little blue berries. When you pinch them they small like, yes, gin. I have looked for recipes for gin but the closest I can get is to buy vodka and infuse it with the berries. I suppose I would have to buy a distillery to actually make gin. Add this to my to do list. I should also be looking for something to press sunflower seeds for the oil. The sunflowers are now twice my height, although this one, one of the shortest is at eye level. I’ll get the seeds before the birds or squirrels do, save them for next year’s crop and maybe give away some for Christmas presents. In the  meantime I’ll be having tomato salad for dinner and probably more pie.

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