Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Harvest Begins Again

What a glorious day.  Not in a long time have I been able to spend a day doing so many of the things I love, and been able to fit it all within 24 hours.

My day began on an adventure with my son Riley and my parents to a Mennonite farm west of Bemidji.  My dad learned of the place from a neighbor, and has been visiting them frequently over the last two years.  You would have to see it to believe it.  I still need to do some research on the Mennonite way, but from what I saw today it is something that looks very strenuous, very close to nature, and very, very different from the way most of us live.  The last vision I remember is the owner of the farm riding his bike (no gas powered vehicles allowed), with a cart full of freshly picked beans, rutabagas, and other veggies behind him, up to the main house where we and a few other lucky soles were at the ready to buy them all up.  For a song.  It was like the scene in "The Wizard of Oz" where Ms. Gulch is riding away with Toto in her basket, except with a very fit man at the helm pedaling as fast as I can only imagine his very toned legs would allow him.

My dad has fashioned a sort of friendship with the man of the house, and the last time he visited the farm there was talk of fishing, and how the whole family loves to go but rarely has time, especially during the busy summer months. So this time there were two large bags of fish in the back of the truck that my dad tried to sneak to him, knowing he would never take it from him without offering something to him in return.  That turned out to be a giant bag of new red potatoes, freshly scrubbed and ready to be cooked. 

I bought red and yellow tomatoes, burpless cucumbers, beets, carrots, onions, and zucchini for a grand total of $6.75.  If we had been able to find where the husky puppies were that Riley heard mention of we probably would have been going home with one of them too.  They have chickens, and pigs EVERYWHERE, literally, they ran up to my dad's truck and oinked at us.

Knowing that they probably shied away from the camera, the only picture I took was of the pigs, and I think you all know what they look like.

Over the next week there will be bruschetta made from the tomatoes, an orzo pasta salad with cucumbers and feta, roasted beets, and zucchini cupcakes with penuche frosting being concocted in my kitchen, and my parents over to share in the feast.

The rest of today was a breeze.  I gave my mom a haircut, sat on the deck in the sun and drank coffee and read magazines, watched "Green Zone" with Matt Damon (he will make your day no matter what's going on), and capped off the days food fest with grilled steak my dad ran into town to get fresh from the meat counter, a giant green salad topped with an assortment of the veggies we bought, and the first corn of the season we had purchased out of the back of a pickup on the way home.

My boy is home from spending a few hours with his dad, and we are going to have cold, creamy bowls of ice cream and watch a funny movie.

Life is good.  Again.


Rachelle said...

Oh Heather, my love, I enjoyed this post. The ending made me think of the transitions I always made on Sunday evenings from Grandma Betty's house to my own house, via my Dad's brown Dodge truck. I can relate to Riley. I loved my time at Grandma & Grandpa's house, with my Dad, but I always enjoyed getting home to my mother in the evenings. Sigh...

Kristi Pohl said...

It sounds absolutely perfect. I love the story about dad bringing fish-so Andy! You were long overdue for a wonderful day, I know you have many more of them in store for you.