Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Harvest time

There aren't many things that are as satisfying as harvesting your own food.
The blueberries are ripe now at the higher elevations, the rosehips are ready in our neck of the woods, and we've been eating lots of good stuff from our own garden now: zuccinis, carrots, kale, and even tomatoes!

It's the root crops that I find most intriguing to grow -- perhaps it's because we don't see the results of our labors, being hidden underground.

The carrots are truly sweet here in Alaska, benefitting from long daylight hours -- I could easily grow more next year. Beets are growing very nicely too, ready for Borscht soon. But the potato crop is my favorite. The plants may not look like much when they're growing in the garden, starting to turn a little pale-yellowish as the days get shorter -- but then comes the reward of the harvest!
I think of the Irish crofter, digging in the dirt, and each potato turned up is like a nugget of gold: it's the food that will sustain. I've read that as far as a poverty-crops go, potatoes (together with a few other crops like cabbages) are apparently fairly sound nutritionally.

Youngest and I have only dug up less than quarter of our potatoes and carrots so far, and they are wonderful. Sure, they're readily available at the grocery store and farmer's market.
But there's nothing better than that joy of watching my child serve carrots from her own garden plot at dinnertime: "I grew these!", and everyone agreeing that they've never tasted any better!

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