Monday, October 28, 2013
I am one of those people who wake up in the morning with a million plans. This quiet little shop surrounded by trees in my backyard has been the site of intense activity throughout this September and October. Before I left I wanted to have the shop a bit more tidy, the ceiling all insulated, and the kitchen cabinets for the house stained and up.
The yard itself had an extensive list of work. Prune the raspberries and blackberries, bark the pathways again, tarp a couple of the rose beds and harvest the grapes. Turning the compost pile never made it on the list, partly because something was growing out of it that seemed to be doing well without any attention. A mass of leaves covered the pile and then extended down the brick compost path and off north into the neighbor's asparagus plants. As temperatures dipped and I began seeing what was under the leaves and realized that there was something worth harvesting! Surprise! Twenty-seven members of the squash family of one sort or another! Now mostly gifted away.
Sometime I get fourteen to seventeen gallons of juice, but his year I only got about six. My grape arbor is not the usual grape arbor. The previous owner planted the arbor. It's tunnel shape has fallen over only once burdened by a record three feet of snow. It was rebuilt with locust wood harvested from windblown trees. I so often try to get a picture of this arbor, but capturing its twenty-six foot length and seven foot height is difficult.
I have traditions for making juice. I brew a good Earl Grey tea, fill a bowl with dark chocolate chips and gather some grapes. I sit in the fall cool air and remove the grapes from the stems, drinking tea and eating the chocolate and thinking. I would have missed this tradition if I had left in September.