Thursday, October 9, 2008

For the next 6 weeks you can see me blogging the future...

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October 09, 2019

Scrumping – It’s Not Just for Apples Anymore!

It’s October in the Valley and some things don’t change. It is apple picking season.

The kids just got back from a scrumping expedition and we’re canning the spoils for the Food Bank. I was surprised by all the other things they brought back too, tomatoes, cantaloupes, broccoli and even some sad little strawberry plants (we’ll nurture them though on a windowsill).

I love this time of year, every day there’s more canning to do and once our larder was full and I could say “we’re warm and fed til next summer” we turned to helping others. The kettle and jars stay out while we process as much as we can for others. The house smells like...well, like true wealth.

Even the smell of cooking apple sauce can’t cover the stench of the half rotten broccoli though!

After doing a triage to cut out the rot and worms we put up everything we could. I was about to throw a very rotten cantaloupe into the compost when Sprout stopped me and said “Save the seeds mum!” WOW! It wasn’t that long ago that I was having to get at him to sort food waste into the chicken feed or compost bucket! Now he’s reminding me.

We scraped the seeds onto tissue and when it was dry we tore it into pieces – each with about 12 seeds. Nature Chick made envelopes for each and took the time to draw what was inside. How’s that for nostalgia! I remember when she was a little girl doing the exact same thing with the flowers from our garden. It’s still fun, even when it has become a true necessity. I’ve tried to instil a sense in the kids that we are *returning* to necessity, and that that is a good thing for us spiritually and on a global level. I’m glad my children grew up from the beginning knowing where their food came from.

We have a Friend meeting with the Spiritual Assembly in Halifax next week and they’ll help distribute the food. We’re going to pool the seeds with other local small farms and have them distributed as victory garden kits in the city. Nature Chick will be teaching youth how to get maximum yields in minimal space.

When we were done, hands a little raw, we settled down to play music and chat. Of course we discussed scrumping. Morality is a funny thing. I don’t have any problem with the kind we do, ground apples and what’s been left behind after harvesting because of rot, disease, or general wastage. The kids started talking about militant scrumpers – kids who raid crops before harvest to give away the food. I saw the gleam in Wild Thing’s eyes and it worries me.

They think I’m a mother hen but first of all these are our neighbours and these farmers have a face – they are not huge agrifood corporations even if some of them sell to the agifood industry. Most of them are on small farms under 200 acres.

Second, raids are frightening for farmers. It really isn’t just about protecting their livelihood. They already enlist migrant workers to guard crops and I wouldn’t want them to start arming them! Those bird guns the berry operations use don’t have to be all noise you know! There is little difference in the dark between a robin hood scrumper and a pirate.

Third, how would they feel if someone felt they could take our hens just because we had them?

The saved seeds are enough piracy for one day. Wild Thing always did like pirates.

2 comments:

PonyXpress said...

I think you are having a healthy wealthy life mama Scrumper!

monkey said...

i love the idea of this...and i especially love wild thing as a teenager. a man to be reckoned with...off the grid, wreaking havoc with the best of intentions. i'm mostly excited to see how your children do their part in changing the world :-)