I wish to spread this time of year out, to add little portions of it to other months. There’s so much food, too much food, much picking and tending and tugging to be done. My least favorite thing to pick is green beans. There are always too many, and they camouflage themselves superbly. When I miss some I feel defeated.
My favorite thing to harvest is carrots.
I love the sensation of tugging on the stalk right before it gives way and then the gentle release when it goes. I have memories of being a third grader, a very competitive third grader, and harvesting carrots in the field at school. I pulled up the biggest carrot in all my third grade class, it was huge, maybe even half my size. I’ve never seen a carrot quite like it since. I insisted on taking it with me, and the farmer obliged. A boy on the bus took a bite out of it on the way home and I was furious. But it was a little bite, and I washed it as soon as I got off the bus and made it for dinner. I was a very precocious third grader.
I also like doing good things with herbs. Lemon verbena is my latest love. It coats all things with the exotic taste of flowers and green lemon. And I like making basil ice cream, the intoxicating thing that it is.
Or taking the stalks of my rosemary and leaving it in the olive oil for days, weeks, months and letting the flavor change as it pleases.
But I think I’m happiest when I have a wheel barrow piled high with things like swiss chard, beets, wild onions, and kale. And an heirloom tomato or two. Something in my nature flutters at this sight.
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