My friend Amy, a biology teacher, recently told me that sometimes while in the middle of her 2-hour monologue for Pathophysiology class she wonders if she already spoke these exact words about macrophages to these same students, or was it her Anatomy class?
I know, I told her. Between this blog, my biweekly newspaper column and my weekly local foods column, I often wonder if I’m repeating myself. I mean they all overlap, because it’s all about kids and food, which is my whole life anyway. And then we laughed. But it’s kind of true.
This week my friend Natalie and I were given access to harvest from a neighbor’s pear and plum tree. And after we had 4 overflowing buckets of fruit Natalie looked up and saw a high branch with a few remaining purple plums. Next thing I know Natalie’s in the tree performing a stretch that could get her immediate admission into an elite ballet troupe, nabbing those last few plums. And I love her for that.
I toted the pears and plums home in my bike trailer feeling like I had just mined a load of diamonds. And I can’t quite explain it, the giddiness, the feeling of wealth at picking 50#’s of juicy, sweet fruit. Steven Hopp, Barbara Kingsolver’s husband says in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, “the original human vocation is finding food on the ground.” (I would add: and in the trees)
And maybe that’s it; harvesting large amounts of food on the brink of winter is simply human.
I’m at the coffee shop right now and just squeezed my laptop power cord into a crowded power strip, turned around and asked another girl what the wifi password is. Whoa. Ten years ago I was at this same coffee shop, writing in notebooks and had never heard of wifi passwords. But, ten years ago at the end of September I was marveling over buckets of apples, plums and pears that sparkled with promise.
Anyone else knee-deep in fruit foraging season?
Anyone else get giddy over a bushel of local fruit?
Go here to San Juan Table to read about how zucchinis are out and apples are in, and how the fall fruit harvest was the backdrop for Dan and my courtship fifteen years ago.