Last Days Before the Hard Frost

Moon Set
Moon Set

LAKE MACBRIDE— For two nights, I’ve covered the Swiss chard, arugula, parsley, collards, peppers and turnips with old bed sheets to protect them from a hard frost. The temperature hasn’t dipped down, so no damage. Not that we’ll eat a lot of this produce, but one more meal made with arugula, another soup stock of turnip greens, and one more dish made with flat leaf parsley would stretch the food budget and taste good as we go into winter. Snow is forecast for Tuesday, but I doubt it.

The work at the orchard will end soon. An abundance of apples remain, but most trees have been picked clean. The customer count reduces each weekend, and with it, so slowed my work until it was done yesterday. Except to drive tour groups on the John Deere tractor next Sunday morning, and to join my cohorts in the end of season staff potluck soon thereafter.

Work in our local food system has been a new connection to nature and agriculture. As if the world outside our compact geography slipped away and I’d gone native. It’s something I should have done long ago.

A trip to the county seat seems a long excursion. While a number of gatherings of friends there have been unattended, there are no regrets in staying local. There are new friends to be made in the environs of our life in Big Grove.

As the moon sets, and the day begins, much work lies ahead. The frost will come, and soon. In the meanwhile, the challenge is to make the most of each day’s diminishing sunlight— splitting time between intellectual work and the reality of temperate climate and the geography of local friends.