Kitchen Garden

Taking A Break – Harvest

Testing the Red Delicious Apples
Testing the Red Delicious Apples

You’d think I had never been through an abundant harvest before. Bushels of fruit, tomatoes aplenty, and more kale than my regulars can eat in a year. Everywhere fresh produce is abundant as Iowa produced one of the best growing seasons ever for small-scale gardeners.

Most of yesterday’s outdoors time was spent picking pears and tomatoes. There are three crates full of apples and pears in the kitchen ready for processing, along with a counter full of tomatoes. The pressure is on to preserve some of this food for winter and beyond.

The branches on the Red Delicious apple tree are bending with the weight of the fruit. They are not sweet enough to pick, but when they are, there will be bushels more than can be used. People don’t generally like to receive home apples as gifts, but I plan to try to give some away.

The last of the basil made pasta sauce for an Italian spaghetti dinner. I used all of the small-sized tomatoes and it didn’t make a dent in the supply.

I ate several pears that were getting soft in the middle, scooping out the softness with a spoon. There is a short season for pears, and last year produced enough pear butter to last another year. Looking for a recipe for pear-apple-rhubarb sauce for canning, or maybe I will just mix them together and see what happens.

Days without need to leave the property are rare, but much appreciated. They provide time for a life as we choose to live it. Having the luxury of a family home, reasonably far from neighborhood noise, and large enough to create a generous space is just that — luxury.

Harvest days make one appreciate what we have, with hope to sustain our lives another season in Big Grove.