Friday, October 3, 2014

Harvest Days

Dear Friends,

We've been enjoying beautiful fall weather lately, including a nice big rainstorm that has perked up our flowers, and brought mushrooms to life.

We have had two successful Giant Swallowtail butterfly released so far (we had to euthanize one with a crippled wing), and are waiting for the last crysalis to be a butterfly. It takes six weeks or so from caterpillar to butterfly, which is a long wait, compared to a Monarch! We definitely don't mind waiting, with the beautiful creature that comes forth.

We have been collecting and processing many bushels of apples lately, and see piles of apples in our dreams at night. The freezer is full, the dehydrator is full, there are roughly four dozen quarts of applesauce on the shelves, and another box full to put by before they go bad. It is a true blessing for us to have such abundance, and we are grateful for always being provided for in so many various ways. We had enough apples to make plenty of juice, and we learned a trick of drying the pulp after juicing, then grinding it fine in the blender to use as a sweetener. I love making use of every good thing!

Every time I put food by I feel a real presence of my grandmother ancestors, as well as millions of other women around the world who are sharing the same task with me. I imagine us all sitting around a giant bowl, knives and fruit in hand, showing the love we feel for others in a tangible way. The need for nourishment, both physical and spiritual, will never end as long as the earth shall remain. May we always be true to our loved ones and do our best to provide these things, praying over each meal we prepare or food that we put by. May the Lord continue to bless us all with His great abundance, and with eyes to see it.



After Apple-Picking

By Robert Frost
My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.


  1. Lovely, Marqueta! I do wish I lived closer to you! I love reading what you are doing and am fascinated by the wildcrafting you do! Blessings!

  2. So neat that you were able to preserve the apple pulp to use as a sweetener. You are a wonderful home keeper Marqueta, and you are setting a great example for your daughters. Enjoy the fruit of your hands dear friend. Blessings


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