Having had a couple of hectic weeks and two consecutive weekends not spent at home, I was adamant that this weekend, we needed to finally harvest the peaches, grapes and some of our vegetable garden. Peaches were dropping to the ground, some of the broccoli had bolted (I left the blossoms for the bees) and the cardinals were relishing every single grape they popped with their beaks. We simply had to make time to deal with the garden.
On Saturday, the remnants of tropical storm Leslie was buffeting our trees and I feared our peach tree, so laden with pounds of fruit, would crack. So after breakfast, out we went, with paper bags, bowls and shirts pulled up to cradle our harvest.
And despite losing about twenty pounds to drops, animals or insects and to some fungal infestations, (which we plan to address after the tree is dormant with organic approved methods), we still managed to get thirty pounds of organic peaches, which will be eaten now, plus made into pies and jam and possibly wine.
Enjoying our blustery day out in the garden, we harvested some beets, red cabbage, tomatoes, beans, and chard, too.
Once I realized how hungry we all were, I went inside to cut up about two pounds of plum and cherry tomatoes for a pasta salad for dinner while Alex and the kids tackled the grape vines. The cardinals scolded and protested the taking of their grapes with their loud and shrill peeping.
Reliance Seedless have a citrus quality, with a grapefruit tang
King of the North grapes are much like a Concord, and are well-suited to Maine's climate
The total grape harvest was twenty-two pounds. Organic grapes.
With only a little bit of light left, we rushed to the shore to see the roaring surf, knowing the bags and bags of peaches and grapes needed to be dealt with but thinking that was a task better suited for Sunday.
Sunday was a good day for many things: an impromptu and welcome visit from friends who stayed for a casual dinner, and didn't mind the bowls and bowls of grape juice cooling on the counter, their son's excited laughter during a video game with Adam and their littlest dancing on the deck. Best of all, getting to know our friends just a little bit better.
By Sunday evening, the house was full of good jam-making smells. Alex told me he made up 4 1/2 pints of jam and the rest, the rest of the grapes are going to wine-making. It was a good weekend.