Today is Blog Action Day 2011. It is also World Food Day. This year’s theme for Blog Action Day is Food. Bloggers all over the world are writing about this one theme, from their own unique perspective. To find out more, visit the Blog Action Day website. Read more of our Blog Action Day posts on Heifer Blog here.
The following post is by Kim Machnik, senior coordinator of school programs at Heifer International.
|Photo by NancyK. Creative Commons.|
It’sOctober, and where I come from, that means it’s time to celebrate. The applesare here. During the summer, we’re busy with sugar-sweet berries, juicy cornthe color of butter, and tomatoes bursting with sunshine, but those are pastnow. It’s the season of the apple, and with it the sensation of spicy steamfrom a mug of mulled cider against the backdrop of trees in their Sunday bestand air crisp as the pages of a new book. The first bite of a freshly pickedCortland apple is the trumpet call of autumn for me- anticipated but somehowunexpected.
Judgingon the basis of flavor alone, one has to conclude that to eat seasonally ispreferable. I can say with confidence that there is no one who prefers ananemic tomato shivering in a produce bin in February to a late-July braggart ofa fruit, puffed up with its own evident importance and months of sunshine andwarm soil. A limp head of November lettuce, compared to its rigid and robustMay counterpart? No contest. And it may just be me, but no apple from a supermarketshelf in March will ever compare to that jeweled treasure plucked from abeneficent tree in October.
Whata loss it has been to our society to step away from eating foods in their ownseasons! To wait through the dark months for the first stalk of tender greenasparagus, to cry with joy at the first appearance of a raspberry on its bush,to settle in to the first frozen night of early winter with a deep bowl ofcreamy-spicy squash soup- these are profoundly human, deeply culturalexperiences that help us to richly experience the passage of time. Born andraised in Massachusetts, when I bake my first apple pie of the year, I amconnected to generations of New Englanders who have celebrated the turning ofthe seasons in the same way. In Arkansas, my current home, it’s greens in thespring and peaches in the summer that have been celebrated and enjoyedcommunally for time immemorial.
Whatis more worthy of our patience, anticipation, and joy than that which sustainsus? What greater earthly reward for our forbearance is there than a gift fromthe soil and sun, presented at its absolute prime? What keeps us connected toour homelands and communities better than the shared experience of the best oftheir bounty? I contend that there is nothing. If you disagree, I suggest you findyourself an orchard and pick some apples.