LAKE MACBRIDE— Yesterday began with two and a half hours of volunteer work at the CSA. The labor in our barter arrangement has already been provided so I’m free to volunteer for general farm chores like working onions.
Once the seedling operation moved outside, the germination house was used to cure onions on the long wire racks. They are ready for the next step, which is cleaning and sorting.
There are five sorting types: big and small storage, ready for distribution, seconds, and those to be composted. I trimmed the tops and roots and sorted. The onion worker got to keep the seconds, so last night was salvaging usable sections of onion. By bedtime, a couple of big bags of peeled onions were in the ice box ready to use.
Basic pasta sauce is of onions, garlic, basil and tomatoes, so as I write, a big batch simmers on the stove. All of the produce is from our garden, or the CSA. Except for the salt, it is 100 percent local. There is always an exception in local food. The tomato sauce will be frozen in quart zip top bags.
Making tomato sauce is elemental. This batch is from the edge between fresh garden produce and compost, where we often live our lives. In cutting away the bad parts of the onions and tomatoes—picking through basil leaves—there was more compost than usable produce.
Between our concept of ourselves and our inevitable transformation to dust is a sliver of life. If we don’t grow food and make tomato sauce, what else would we do? There really is nothing else, except to go on living.