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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A is for Apple (and August)

Today was harvest day in the suburbs. No, it’s not fall yet but my neighbor Linda invited us to harvest apples from her backyard mini-farm, so who I am to refuse? When she saw us walking down the street today she asked if we’d like to pick apples later. Were we interested? Of course! I walk by Linda’s beautiful front yard garden nearly every day, noting how tall her orange cana flowers have grown, and marveling over the hundreds of poppies that arise each Spring. I have only seen Linda’s back yard garden once, but it is wonderful in a completely different way from the front. The back is all about edible plants. She has a grape arbor, fruit trees, a veggie garden and an apple tree ten feet tall.

We arrived on her doorstep with a basket in hand. The kids picked apples and studied everything else growing in Linda’s yard. I find picking fruit from a tree quite fun, a completely different experience from picking fruit my usual way (from a display at the grocery store!). We left with thirty-eight apples. Linda had picked some before we got there, and the kids picked apples they could reach. I wondered whether we were running off with most of her harvest, but as I looked up at the tree, I saw plenty more apples. Maybe she had picked dozens of apples already and decided to share the wealth with neighbors. What a kind thing to do. Like me, Linda really digs…digging. She likes plants (edible as well as ornamental) and feels good when working outdoors. She retired a year ago and now spends a good deal of her time learning about plants and teaching herself how to grow different things.

 

I’ll take a cue from Linda and share some of what she shared with me. Thirty-eight apples is a lot, and I’ll bet others would be tickled to have some fruit from Linda’s mini-farm.

Gardening is an instant tonic. It feels good, you reconnect with the earth, and you get something pretty and/or edible out of it. There’s a funny quote I like about the magic of gardening:

“Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes.”   (Author unknown)

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