A Satisfied Gleaner
September 6, 2011 § 1 Comment
Two batches of blackberry jam are lined up on my kitchen counter. I like looking at the little glass jars, remembering my scratched arms, the reaching from a ladder, the pricked and blue fingers, the effort. It’s hard for me to leave the blackberry patch until every berry that I can reach is picked.
There’s something so satisfying about gleaning food … real food. Our garden is finally producing sweet sun-warmed tomatoes, along with the potatoes and zucchini. The carrots, chard, lettuce, beets, etc. we’ve been enjoying all summer. This spring Dave planted several varieties of garlic for the first time and has gleaned a nice crop.
When we lived in the Arctic our freezer was a storehouse–really a hole–in the permafrost where sides of caribou, snow geese, whole seals and fish were kept frozen. If you wanted to eat meat you had to go out and get it. In Aklavik Dave learned to set nets under the ice in the river for a winter’s supply of fish. It was too cold to grow a garden without a hot house so fresh garden vegetables were hard to come by. In Sachs Harbour we had an up-close-and-personal relationship with food. The wooden rack above the oil cookstove held drying strips of caribou and fish sharing space with cloth diapers.
It’s time to get our peaches and pears from Eastern Washington to can. Then I’ll line them up on my pantry shelves and smile knowing that a taste of summer is waiting to be opened some dreary winter day.
ⓒ Inger Logelin 2011