Since being home from Ireland we have been finishing up with our winter’s wood supply. We view firewood as an important economy in our household, a full shed of seasoned hardwood is like money in the bank. Better than money in the bank, I think. I like living a life that places value on commodities besides the almighty dollar. Firewood, a hefty storage of root vegetables , a pantry full of preserved foods, freezers full of meat, sourdough starter, are all considered precious assets. Let’s not forget pesto…..very ritzy! What we choose to value in life is really a choice. We may all do this differently, and that’s o.k., we certainly value personal choice. Here we not only value the things we can provide without having to spend a great deal of money, we also value time. We value our community. We value our friends. We value working at a lifestyle that allows us all to spend time together. Rick and I eat lunch together almost everyday……I love and value this. Fall is a busy time here at the nursery and farm. Securing our ‘savings’ in the way of the commodities I’ve mentioned takes time. We are always careful not too spend too much time trying to place a monetary value on the time it takes us to provide many of these things. We would probably feel pretty defeated, wondering what we are doing wrong. But then we remind ourselves that true value …….enormous, over the moon value….. can be placed also on feeling good about one’s life. We value our life, we value the freedom to make these choices, we value the energy that we have to make this life work. All of a sudden we feel incredibly rich…..and we are.
After freezing and canning all the peaches we are going to need this winter, a fresh pie was certainly in order. These peaches came from my friends tree. There has hardly been a year when that tree has not produced baskets full of peaches. I’m not sure of the variety, and Sue doesn’t seem to recall the name from when she planted it. No difference, it’s a honey of a peach tree. One of the great things about living amongst neighbors who share in the commitment and practice of self-sufficiency, is that lots of food gets bartered between farms and households. Sue had lots of extra peaches, I have an abundance of beans and tomatoes. Something got after her greenbeans early on, and blight has done a number on the remainder of her tomatoes. No problem. That’s why living with many diversified farms nearby can help you out of a tough spot. I am at the end of tomato canning and can’t squeeze even one more package of frozen beans into the freezer. Dilly beans already take up substantial room on the pantry shelves. So, peaches for beans and as many tomatoes as you can carry? Sweet deal! This kind of bartering is almost always in motion here in our community. Especially during the growing season. Why not feed yourselves and some neighbors along with it? Tonight, we feast on fresh peach pie and some homemade vanille ice cream. Thanks to my neighbor!