These past few weeks I have been thinking about the harvest, turning to our gardens, farms, and fields for some grounding.
On recent visits with friends I have been sent away with ripened tomatoes, onions and potatoes just pulled from the ground, pumpkins still on the vine. I have been able to spread my modest bounty of plump plums and crisp pears from my backyard orchard (…and yes, I use that word ‘orchard’ very generously).
And driving across our rural spaces it is always something to behold, the great swaths of wheat, lentils, alfalfa. Corn and soybeans stretch as far as I can see while I’m bucking the sun heading East. Hoop houses, grain trucks, and combines with headers wider than my house. The amber waves of grain. Truly, a beautiful thing.
In downtown White Sulphur you can hear the cows bawling in the stockyards as their calves have been recently weaned off for shipping. 4-H steers, hogs, and meat birds have been well raised, sold to the highest bidder at the local fair, and sent off for processing.
Bow hunters have enjoyed a good harvest, and upland bird hunters have been sending their dogs across coulees to flush the pheasants and grouse. It’s a good season all around. How lucky we are to live in places where we can access this bounty. Where we have public land, water, and resources to be self reliant in our food systems. A huge thank you to all the farmers, ranchers, and gardeners out there keeping us well nourished.
In the week since I first drafted this, a foot and a half of snow and -10˚ below temps haven’t crept in but blasted forth. Reminding us that we are still in Montana. And we still can’t control the weather. And that is a good thing. Rifle opener for deer and elk was on Saturday and the tracks are fresh.
We hope your firewood stacks are deep, your hunting rifles are sighted in, and your harvest has been rich.