Wednesday, September 9, 2009


It's canning season again.

Fortunately, it appears this year that we don't have everything hitting at once, as we did last year. Green beans are done. Zucchini relish is done (it tastes a lot better than it sounds). A fungus brought the raspberries to an end, but not until after many jars of jam. The peaches are here, but apparently they're not quite ripe yet. The apples are still on the trees, the tomatoes are still growing and the carrots can wait in the garden for at least another three weeks yet.

Still, canning season is here.

I like that we grow things to preserve. It's healthier for us, less expensive, and helps us add to that food storage. I just wish it weren't so much work. I know: Folks long beore us had to process all of their food in this way so they'd have food through the winter months. They couldn't go to the store to buy cans of such and whichy, blah blah. I know all that. It's still hard work.

At least wer'e getting tomatoes this year. Every year for the past several years we've grown tomatoes and gotten poor crops. It's gotten to the point that when spring rolls around, I try to talk Michelle out of planting tomatoes at all. Still, she persists. This year, same deal. Spring came. I talked. We planted tomatoes anyway. And we're getting a bumper crop. I did nothing to them this year. Only one round of fertilizer when we planted, and only one run through clipping runners. Only tented them for a few weeks. They grew like crazy and never picked up the fungus from the raspberries next door. Weird. So we'll make salsa and tomato soup, if they keep coming on. That's good.

Canning season does mean one good thing: The end of gardening season. Once all the fruits and vegetables are picked, the garden can lie fallow, buried in carrot greens and grass clippings, festooned with apples that have fallen from the trees and rotted, waiting for next year.

I wonder if the turkey poop did the trick this year with the garden. Everything is very lush out there, and this is the first year we did the turkey poop. That's what the garden center recommended, obviously with some reason. Who knew turkey poop was so rich. And who knew I'd be so excited to see turkey poop turned into carrots and tomatoes? It's a good thing Petey Otterloop doesn't know anything about this.

I don't remember that we canned this much when I was a kid. Of course, I was a kid back then and oblivious to a lot of the things that went on in the adult world. Most of the things that went on in the kitchen, aside from eating, homework, and occasionally doing the dishes, went on without me knowing it. Well, there was that time Maaike's friend Melissa couldn't figure otu how to get the spout off the milk bottle and ended up caromming the bottle, her bowl of Wheaties and a few other things off the kitchen ceiling and just about any other surface there, but aside from that, nothing too memorable went on in that room.

I guess we take our oblivion for granted as kids. Some day soon, I'd like once again to be oblivious to the canning of carrots and the making of applesauce.

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