Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Living in the city we are removed from the source of our food. True we may grow herbs, vegetables or even some fruit in our town gardens but few of us feed ourselves. At this time of the year many of my neighbours are busy canning tomatoes. In almost every garage, along the lane that runs behind our building, whole families assemble to cook huge pots of tomatoes balanced precariously on propane burners. Some are also making their own wine, you'll see the telltale boxes of crushed grapes at the kerb on garbage day. My mother used to can, or rather bottle as we called it; peaches, pears, apricots and tomatoes all carefully packed into tall glass jars, sealed with a rubber ring and a metal lid before being processed in an electric canner. It was comforting to know, with the approach of winter, that there was a cupboard filled with the tastes of summer. Of course now we can buy almost any fruit or vegetable anytime, fresh, or at least "fresh frozen" so not many of us bother to preserve anymore. But, if you are the one who peels the tomatoes or stones the fruit, then the contents of those jars will taste so much better.
Autumn is the season of change and when I look up at the sky, which is clear and bright at this time of the year, I remember just how much we depend on Mother Nature and farmers.