It’s Apple Season. What are you harvesting?

by | Sep 10, 2023

What a glorious time of year – especially when you can find 500+ apple varieties growing within the surrounding 74 square miles. Where is this paradise of Malus domestica? Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.

I’ve already picked two bags of Bramleys from my landlord’s tree. She suggests I use the fruit for pies. Unfortunately, the quality of my pie crusts is inconsistent (I don’t use lard or butter). I have much better success with crumbles and cakes.

Though my pantry is woefully empty of apple-based products by summer’s end, by the time September 23 arrives, my shelves should be loaded with rows of jars adding pinks and reds to this year’s Autumn Equinox celebration. This year, I plan to put up jars of apple pie filling, apple butter, apple sauce, and pear/apple sauce. On order is a half-case of Belle de Boskoop, my favorite apple. And the island’s annual Apple Festival, where I sample heritage varieties until my belly aches, is happening October 1.

Midsummer, I harvested my gooseberries and made jam. In late August, the guys brought me a tub of grapes. I turned those into “everything but the kitchen sink” jams, adding in blackberries, cherries, and plums. These jams never turn out the same – but that’s kind of the *delicious* point. And there’s more ‘putting by’ to come, including making digestive bitters from my elecampane plants, and partaking in an elderberry-squishing party.

On the creative side, I’m surrounding myself with inks, paints, brushes, papers, fabrics, and yarns. Though I continue to feel COVID’s effect on my brain (fewer writing hours) and body (fewer vertical hours), I’m feeling very inspired to draw and paint – in addition to writing.

On the spirit side, I’m meditating on the question, What am I harvesting? (Six months ago, as we neared the Vernal Equinox, the question was, What am I planting?) I think I’m going to sit with that question before sharing my response – but if you want to share what you’re harvesting, please do!

Join me on Ream, where you’ll find ongoing chapters from the books I’m working on.

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