The farm frosted hard this morning! This may be the last week of veggie harvests that teeter in the space between eating seasons. The very last peppers, the very last summer squash…although the tomatoes are always picked to ripen in storage just so we can spread out the season of everyone’s favorite summer fruit, and we may just get another eggplant harvest next week because the plants rebounded quite unscathed from this morning’s layer of frosty white. Other signs of change abound. Waking at 5:30 this morning to help a wee one get a drink of water, I was struck by how much it felt like the middle of the night. It was dark, the bright moon set for the night, and no sight of the rising sun. I just couldn’t imagine staying awake, the feeling that it was still night was too strong, even though this was the hour we did wake on Tuesdays not long ago, sky light blue, ready to begin the harvests for the day.
In many ways, everything around us is telling us to slow down. The days are shorter, the sky telling us to sleep more, work less. The crops that needed us to tend to them day in and day out, to harvest, harvest, harvest their mad rush at setting as much fruit as possible while the heat lasts, the weeds competing with our plantings in a summer long race to win, all done for the year. The frost itself calling to us to take the time to start the fire and warm the kettle again, because no harvesting could be done until the leaves thawed. The farmer’s market ends this week too, and in a flash, our summer routine is gone for another year. Slowly, slowly we inch towards winter.
So alongside your summer squash this week we have the first of the season’s winter squash! And everything that has been touched by this morning’s frost (and our two softer frosts before this) has been infused with the sweetness of the season. This is the best time to eat fresh food, the sweetest and fullest of all. We were caught off guard this morning, the first really cold fingers of the season, but harvesting food for all of you through the fall is one of our favorite things to do. Unlike in the warmer months, food becomes such a treasure, a source of warmth itself, as we head into colder weather. If you are at all busy bees like we are in the summer, the true savoring starts now, when nature beckons us to slow down and sip some soup!