Monday, October 17, 2011

Harvest

by Foto3116
I grew up in the heart of wheat country--south central Kansas. Harvest is not an uncommon thing for me to witness. I remember growing up, there would be days we'd have to close up the house on nice days because there was a field just south of us, and the farmer was harvesting (or tilling sometimes) and it would stir up dust. My mom is an asthmatic with allergies, so the dust being blown in always caused problems--even with the house closed up.

Still, I love watching the big machines doing their jobs, row upon row being eaten up by that whirling harvester, soon to be turned into flour... or whatever else wheat is used for. Corn, milo, soybeans, and countless other grains grew in my area of the world. I even occasionally saw a cotton field!

Now, when I think of harvest time, I think of not just the big fields with family or commercial farmers in big rigs, but I also think of the small harvest--the one in a backyard. I'm hardly a green-thumb--TMOTH swears I have the ability to kill nearly every plant. He's almost right.

My mom grew tomatoes almost every year for several years. In the height of summer, there would be several weeks go by where she'd can a few days a week. Spaghetti sauce was a big one. While my family isn't Italian, we ate a lot of spaghetti. There's nothing better than homemade spaghetti sauce--with homegrown tomatoes!

I hope one day I can outgrow my black-thumb tendencies. I'd love to learn how to can for myself, and to teach my daughter when she's older. I've gotten a lot of encouragement from several friends, I just need to bite the bullet, get the equipment... and actually grow something worth canning! Then maybe next time, I can have a happy harvest, too.


Today's post has been a part of the ChristianWriters.com blog chain. For links to the other blogger's posts, please go here.

Until next time,

17 comments:

Victor Travison said...

I also spent a good share of my life in southwest Kansas, especially over 21 years living in Wichita, plus going to college in Haviland. I've met a lot of farmers and watched how they work. I've even helped at times. Seeing how dedicated they are, it's hard to listen to people who stereotype them as lazy or backward, like hillbillies. Nothing could be further from the truth.

~ VT

Liberty Speidel said...

Yes, they do work very hard. It wasn't very long ago that I was out somewhere late in the evening, and combines were out harvesting, running lights and everything. I'd imagine they'd be out there until the field was all done.

Farmers--and ranchers--are very hard workers. It's not a job for the faint of heart, either.

Dave Pardoe said...

My one daughter is going to college in Great Bend KS. Hope she learns a thing about harvest there.
I also want to learn how to can, lately I have been making soups and butters. It would be nice to save the butters out of the freezer.

Liberty Speidel said...

Wow, Dave... there's not much out in Great Bend! She's brave to be way out there.

My friend I referenced whose name is Kristina writes a blog called Proverbs 31 Woman over at http://proverbsthirtyonewoman.blogspot.com/ Many of her posts have to do with preserving and canning. I'd head over there to take a peek--it's not just for ladies!

Nona King said...

=D From a fellow black-thumb, I encourage you to go for it. While a challenge, it is very gratifying to see the beautiful and bounteous result. True, I haven't yet graduated from flowers to fruit and vegetables, but some day....

MGalloway said...

You could always start by growing aloe...they have kits available online. They don't take much water and the ad copy on the kit over at ThinkGeek reads: "Easy to grow, hard to kill - we tried!"

Of course I've never heard of anybody canning aloe...

Liberty Speidel said...

@Nona, my growing efforts have been thwarted first by being pregnant 2 of the last 4 summers, then being in an apartment for 1 of the other 2. Bleh.

@MGalloway, ummm.... I can kill aloe. I have the pot on my patio to prove it!

Tracy Krauss said...

I just spent thee weekend with my daughter who loves to garden, can and freeze her own veggies etc., and make pickles, jams etc. I'm not sure where she got it since I do not like these activities, but I certainly can enjoy the fruits of her labor!

chris said...

i would love farming, and as for spaghetti, pizza and other Italian food... not much tops this for me! always enjoy your writing Liberty!!

Traci B said...

I enjoyed reading your reminiscences, Liberty. :) Our family has often attempted to have a backyard garden, with mixed results. Sometimes everything grows, sometimes nothing does. But the gardeners in the family keep trying, looking for that harvest. :)

E. G. Lewis said...

Enjoyed your harvest time rememberances. My attempts at gardening have also been, shall we say, less the fruitful?
Peace and Blessings

Sheila Odom Hollinghead said...

Yeah, I kill aloe too. :) We have gardened for thirty years and I usually put up peas, turnips, collards, beans, corn, and tomatoes. For the past three or four years we have not been able to grow anything, mainly because of dry weather. Next year we plan to have a smaller garden that we can keep watered (probably will flood next year!). I enjoy all but the hard work. ;)

Thanks for sharing!

From Carol's Quill said...

Thank you for sharing your childhood and reminding us that harvest has more to do with what is produced than the amount.

Cindee Snider Re said...

Sometimes, I think harvest is less about the end product than about enjoying and learning along the way. We garden (tomatoes, snap peas, spinach, lettuces and greens, beets, kolarabi, etc.) -- great harvest last year, meager this year, but our yield didn't diminish our joy in the process. Blessings!

Sherrie Speidel said...

I appreciate your thoughts and dreams from childhood in Kansas. It's amazing to me to "just think" when you were growing up enjoying your fields of harvest; so was my son, your MOTH. He was growing tall a few miles from you until 1986 when we moved to NE. The time you were enjoying the outside he was right with you in the wind all the time. God had His plan in store for you two. Wonderful! And canning is work, yet fun. I canned many years ago in my early 20's. I'd love to can with you one day.

M. L. Archer said...

You have the coolest life style. I wish I lived in KS.

Liberty Speidel said...

M.L., you should come! But, I'm an urbanite now... probably why I can't grow anything!

Thanks to everyone else for the comments. :)

There was an error in this gadget
Related Posts with Thumbnails