Well, itís fall. Where did the summer go? We have just harvested our Concord
grapes and picked the apples from our front yard tree. The grapes are easy. We
get just enough to make grape jelly and squeeze a little grape juice.
But one little Gravenstein tree makes a lot of apples. With a hundred and one
apple recipes I am cooking up a storm. So far Iíve made applesauce, apple chutney,
apple tart, apple crisp, apple kugel, baked apples and sweet potatoes, apple-blueberry
cake, and apple bread pudding. Iím looking forward to apple pie, apple kuchen,
It is supremely satisfying to eat the food grown in your own yard. It is amazing
what one can grow on a small city lot. This year we cultivated sugar snap peas,
fava beans, tomatoes, pumpkins, acorn squash (volunteers from the compost), and
yellow crooked-neck squash.
The gophers got the string beans. Iím rather relaxed about the pilferage and
consider it a tithe.
Our little yard also produces plums and lemons and in the future raspberries,
asparagus, fuyu persimmons, and oranges. Those trees and bushes were planted recently
and havenít yet begun bearing fruit. You can tell Iím not a fan of lawns.
I take special pleasure in showing the garden to my 3 and 5-year old granddaughters
and letting them pick a lemon to make lemonade. I want them to observe the cycles
of the seasons and to understand where their food comes from.
Not from the supermarket. Not wrapped in plastic or in a box. But from the
earth where someone stuck their fingers and pulled weeds and watered and plucked
I want them to appreciate that land is necessary to grow food, and it might
not be a good idea to cover that land with impervious surfaces that prevent the
water from returning to the water table. I also want my granddaughters to see
that itís possible to grow vegetables and fruits without poisoning the ground,
the air, the water, and ourselves.
I want to see them savor a piece of apple pie and smile and say with pride,
ďI picked the apples!Ē