Monday, August 31, 2009


I have lived in this area most of my life; my grandparents were farmers and my Dad farmed during the early part of my life. My husband grew up on a wheat farm also. So even though we aren't connected in any way with the agriculture all around us, we're always aware at some subliminal level of the weather, the changing seasons and the crops as they grow and ripen through the year.

We notice how the rain in June helps the local farmers and how the rain in August impedes the rush of harvest and causes worry. We look at the fields of soft, white winter wheat, the tangled fields of peas and lentils, the yellow-dusted fields of canola, rape and mustard. Right now, while the dusty harvest is going on the air is murky and people's sinuses plug up, causing miserable headaches for me. Worse will come later when they burn the fields and the smoke makes my asthma flare. But these are part of the cycle in the farmland that seems such a part of my blood, descended from generations of farmers.

My own harvest has consisted of a handful of tomatoes and a little lettuce. I'm actually proud of myself that my whiskey-barrel gardens even produced that much.

Fred helped me pick tomatoes in, ironically, a Tow Mater bucket. I made nachos with fresh, homegrown tomatoes. To me this is an exciting time of year when all year's work results in bringing in the harvest, when next year's plans are made, when the rush and hurry comes on and the town wakes up with the buzz of returning students. Somehow here it seems all tangled up into one happy, busy, rushing season.

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