There's a big white tent on my front lawn. I'm not even joking. It's sitting there just waiting for people to stop and peek inside. This is what we do for fun in the fall...we put up a big white tent on our front lawn. People stop and go inside. They come out with their bounty, after paying in an honesty box, and they drive away. No one has ever ripped us off. Someone once stole a basket after filling it with vegetables but I figure they must have been really hungry. The food didn't bother me but the basket did. It was a pretty sturdy thing and so big. I left a note for the thief to give me a grocery list I'd be happy to fill for them in the future but I never got a reply, sadly.
It makes my heart sing when I imagine the food and fall decorations I grew in my garden going into people's homes to nurture their tummies or their spirits. It's one of the times when being a homesteader is full of fun. I have a request for two bags of spinach to be picked up tomorrow for a woman whose health is not so good right now. Fresh vegetables are helping her to be strong and fight the hardest fight. I have a pile of corn stalks that are going to give joy to many homes and parties. My broom corn will dazzle the eyes with all the harvest colors that Mother Nature grows on it naturally. I hope that someone's table will have a bowl full of gourds, tiny pumpkins and ornamental corn as they sit together with their families and enjoy a turkey dinner.
We grow vegetables and fruit on our one acre plot and we sell some within our community. We keep what we need for ourselves of course but we sell it too, to pay for the cost of growing it. I like to imagine the tables where this food ends up, the plates that it fills, the people that it feeds. I make up stories in my head as I pick spinach. I tell tales to my brain as I pull up carrots. I laugh at funny thing I make up for my own amusement as I dry herbs that will go in little jars.
My bees follow me about and sometimes they remember how I invaded their home and they sting me. I imagine them recognizing my face and scent and digging into me with their last breath, literally. Even so, I'm thankful to have them as part of our little backyard world. The chickens call out for treats and I oblige them with soft tomatoes, misshapen cucumbers and odd squashes that I cut open and watch them digging into the goodness inside. Squashes and pumpkins are their favorites and I like to give them a share to thank them for all the fresh eggs.
On the weekend I made squash, carrot and potato soup with a cream base and a few of my pears added for good measure. I took the first taste and declared it the best soup I have ever made. My indulgent husband laughed and told me I say that every time I make a new soup. I'm sure he's right but there's definitely something that happens when you grow your own vegetables, pick them and prepare them into a dish that makes them taste so much better. I shared some soup with my neighbor and a little more with a friend who dropped by today. We'll eat the last spoonfuls for lunch tomorrow. For the next pot I have my eye on a big Hubbard squash that's growing through the arch and will need a very sharp knife to break it free. I can't wait to make the next best soup I've ever made. But, more importantly, I can't wait to dream of the many houses where my garden will spread its' bounty as food or decorations, the other families who will enjoy it as much as I do.