What Comes and Goes

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Garlic is small this year, each bulb I pull half the size of last year’s.  It’s not from the dry summer — I irrigate my garden with timed soaker hoses, and my onions are their usual hearty balls of tang.  Was it the harsh winter?  The many cold nights this summer?

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Apples are outrageous, my trees dotted with fruit, branches hanging lower and lower as the apples plump and pull with their weight.  Last year there was hardly an apple, the two previous years were like this one, an apple bonanza.

My potato plants were hearty and healthy with no pests.  Yet when I dug under the mulching hay last weekend to find potatoes for dinner there were hardly any spuds.  Are there more further down the bed?

Wild blueberries are sparse, lakeside bushes mostly bare.

I have two eggplants on the four I planted — one is two inches long, one an inch.  Two years ago my plants were dripping with eggplant, we had grilled eggplant for dinner every night, I filled my freezer with eggplant.

The farm where I’ve picked peaches the last two summers has none this year.  No peaches. The buds froze in a late cold snap, a whole orchard empty.  But the area where Chris lives is full of orchards and I’ve brought home two big boxes of peaches for a ridiculously low price and filled my freezer and now a friend is filling hers.

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Strawberry picking in June was the best I’ve ever done — the low plants bent with the sweetest and cleanest berries I’ve ever picked.  More in my freezer.

 

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Today it’s blueberries.  There may be few wild berries, but Berrybogg Farm is loaded, bushes so laden you can pick pounds in minutes.  Which I did yesterday.

Bounty comes and goes and the reasons are mostly a mystery.  I’ll be making applesauce in a few weeks and loading apples into my friend’s truck for his cider mill. My onions will last well in to the winter and I’ll run out of garlic.  I’ll be making smoothies with peaches and Emilio will eat frozen strawberries for breakfast when he comes to visit. I doubt my potatoes will last until Thanksgiving, which is my goal every year, to mash my own potatoes.

But I’ll have what I need to make blueberry pie, which has always been Chris’s job, superb pie maker that she’s been.  This year I’ll be rolling the dough and concentrating on gratitude for the bounty that is, while honoring what has passed.

What else can I do?

 

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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