Harvest bounty, hunter moon

It was a very fitting full hunter moon this past Thanksgiving. A generous sun offered the perfect weekend to harvest the remaining bounty in the farm garden—we ‘hunted’ for the remaining tomatoes that hadn’t been burnt by recent frosts, hunted for Jerusalem artichokes, sweet potatoes, shelled and sorted a rainbow cache of heirloom beans.
Stacking three bush cords of hard maple firewood seemed a breeze thanks to the helping hands of friends. Only five more to put away in preparation for the coming cold of winter. Good work has a way of disguising itself as play in the garden, the field, the yard, the kitchen—it’s one of the best rewards in the art of living. We cooked, feasted, played, and worked some more.

On a beautiful hike out back we trekked with the dingo pack up the hill overlooking the property, down to the pond, out to the cabin site, around the alfalfa field, into the woods, across the footpath, through the marsh, came upon the clearing, and discovered the most gloriously healthy rogue apple tree. Not a crab apple, but a deliciously tangy sweet mystery variety. Unsprayed and unpruned, the apples on the trees this year are surprisingly large and beautiful, untouched by worms and moths. We hunted and gathered the lovely red globes and enjoyed a juicy reward on the edge of the forest and field.

I’m tempted to take a few to Austin Thomas, my man of apples, to see if he might be able to identify the variety. He knows every single thing there is to know about the apple. Period.  If you’d like to know a bit more about him, and apples, I just wrote this story in the current issue of Watershed Magazine about Austin, sentient steward of the orchard.


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