20180909_000003It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn.
-B.C. Forbes

It has been autumn in Calgary now for a couple of weeks. People who grow their own food are busy gathering and preserving, preparing for the coming months. It is the most abundant time of year, set against the transient energy of the shifting seasons.

It is impossible not to be grateful during harvest. The earth rewards our long energy and attention with the ability to sustain ourselves over the coming months. It’s the overflow and the onslaught, as glorious and heavy as anything can be. There is time to celebrate, but not before immense work is done.

The sun is setting earlier and we are awake well past, not quite ready to heed the call and turn inward, slow down, rest. The mystery of when winter is coming begins to loom, only tingeing our distant memories. We chop and season, can and freeze; it’s boiling pots and steamy kitchens. Dehydrators whir. Plants hang upside-down, drying.

We share. We exchange recipes and ferments, sauces poured thoughtfully through funnels into jars, handing them to friends. Remember me in the winter.

Today I ate the soup made from ingredients from my fellow gardeners, the people with whom I share growing space in the middle of my community. It was a response to a call from one of us to bring  something to share, a call and an act from a family who understand how to weave us together. As we worked beside each other, pulling toward our communal goal, one of our friends prepared the soup, made of something from each of us. A reminder that our efforts are amplified if they are in concert with others. This soup, both a meal and a connection, to each other but also over time and space, a connection to our ancestors, to everyone who has ever lived. We all need to eat. This soup, in this place, with these people.  Profound nourishment. This is harvest.

16 thoughts on “Community Leave a comment

    1. I agree, community and connection is so essential. This snapshot was a beautiful moment, to be sure, but it isn’t like that all of the time. Just feel the need to temper the beauty of the moment with the fact that we sometimes aren’t as kind as we may like to be to each other, too. But we do try to stay connected. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Wonderful story based on such loving and sharing community.
    Your thoughts around this special meal, cooked using ingredients from everyone’s plots.
    You describe it beautifully and I love the connection you make to the ancestors.
    Thank you Lauren


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree about the community spirit. My neighbour gives us litchis in December, the other has lemons. I give out bananas, curry leaves, mangoes, used to give pawpaws, share my mint, thyme and shallot. I cringe to share my marigolds because one year after I gave permission for a few,all my trees were denuded. When there is a harvest of sorts, husband and son goes to neighbours and hands out my shared veggies/fruits. sometimes I take branches of my massive curry leaf tree and give it to the traders to sell for themselves. The blessings are many.💞

    Liked by 1 person

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