I live in southern Minnesota, where - for the non-frozen half of the year, anyway - agricultural abundance abounds. Early fall is the time of spectacular backyard gardens, wild temperature swings, colorful leaves, tasseling corn, and farm equipment bustling slowly and self-importantly down the road, snarling up traffic. ;-)
Everywhere I look, I see visible signs of abundance - especially in our garden, which we harvested last weekend - with some help from our younger cat, Slinky.
It was 90' F. in the shade. The mosquitoes were horrible. And what were we doing? Digging, pulling, and gathering. Peeling, chopping, and cutting. Blanching, bagging, and freezing...until our eyes were bugging and our butts were dragging. We had cucumbers, carrots, corn, eggplant, tomatoes, green beans, ground cherries (ick) and okra (shudder) coming out of our ears. Being no fan of heat, humidity, or frankly physical labor, I think if I had to touch one more piece of produce that weekend, I was gonna scream. Or at least decamp to the nearest mall, a good 30 miles away.
Last year, our assembly line harvest weekend yielded so many bags of vegetables that Mark, in his precise, geeky manner, actually sketched a map and taped it to the inside lid of the chest freezer so we could find things later on. This year's harvest was much more manageable. While I don't think I'll need a map to find grilled garden corn to make chicken pot pie, I might request one just for the sheer adorable factor.
Reality check: I woke up to a thermometer reading 37' F. a couple of mornings ago. The season of garden abundance is clearly over. So, until the snow falls and melts, the earth comes out of hibernation again, and we plant next year's garden, the freezer will provide.
Do you have a green thumb? (Me? NOT.) What's your favorite vegetable?