“Comparison is an act of violence against the self”-Iylana Vanzant
IT’S HARVEST TIME, Y’ALL! We’ve spent the past couple of days collecting things from the garden, mostly zucchini (which can grow to the size of your forearm if you don’t watch out!). Norma says the zucchini is ready to harvest when it’s about 6 inches in length. If it gets too big, she often has to throw it in with the dog food, or feed to Jenna (she’s one of the oddball angora goats). So I guess, in the case of gardening, bigger isn’t always better (for zucchini at least). The product of this harvest has been so delicious! We’ve had some form of zucchini for every meal the past couple of days (zucchini pancakes, stuffed zucchini, zucchini salad…). I’ll be honest in the fact that I wasn’t too fond of the vegetable when I first tried it, but after coming here I’ve been open to different things (Maybe even green beans….we’ll see). I think part of the thrill of eating is know that you planted it, watched it grow from little seedlings, and then got enjoy the taste of that harvest. It’s all apart of a special process. It also kind of makes you feel like an avatar, yielding the forces of nature for power.
We also had to harvest all of the onions (104 to be exact). With all of the rain we’ve had, we needed to get the onions out of the ground so they don’t rot. Onions are interesting in how they’re planted. Unlike most things, you don’t burry onions deep in the soil. For the best results you need to burry your onions just above the soil to allow the root system to dig itself into the ground. Onions are also very easy to start growing on your own and replant once you chop a bit off the top. Now, onions differ from zucchini in the perfect size for harvest. Onions don’t really have a size that makes the best for harvesting. And yes, now sometimes bigger is better.
Soon I should also be able to venture into the woods to collect some paw paws (a custard type fruit). I’ve never tried it, but I’ve been told that it is supreme. The fruit is also a frozen favorite of our late and great George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. I’m excited to give them a try. There are a lot of great pieces of wildlife out here that are great for harvesting. Norma and I collected some wild raspberries the other day (delicious!). The locals are also fond of venturing into the deep woods and mountains to find ginseng (used in energy drinks and medicine), they call it “sing-sing”, and the act of collecting it “sangin”. Ginseng roots can go for as low as $200/lbs at the beginning of the season to about $700/lbs towards the end of the season. The locals are also skilled at finding morel mushrooms, but only know it by the name “dry-land-fish”. People in the mountains here are way more attuned to nature and are raised from a very young age to find certain elements in nature. I’ve had fun learning about them, but am not very good at finding them myself.
I’ve been gone from here for a while and have plenty to catch up on. Stayed tuned, friends.