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The Good Earth

We’re farmers.  OK, not really.  We inherited a robust garden that is populated with all manner of horticultural specimens.  We have olive trees, grape vines, figs, lavender, rosemary, artichokes, roses, sunflowers and many indeterminate species.  It’s quite wild right now with almost everything blooming, just finished blooming, or about to bloom.  I would love to be able to putz around in this garden and learn about all the things that I’ve never grown before.  Maybe someday.

Our fifteen olive trees are loaded with green olives.  IMG_1906Our landlord says that they pick them along with others they have and take them to the local communal press and get back olive oil.  You have to have a certain amount of olives for them to press just your olives into oil, but if you take you lesser quantities in they combine them with everyone else’s and everyone gets a share of oil depending upon how many olive they brought in.  I want so much to taste it.  Not that I had anything to do with nurturing these olives, but I see them first thing every morning and last thing every night so I feel like they know me.

The grapes, I think, are just for eating.  They’re quite good.  I’m not sure what kind of grapes they are, but they are very sweet.  IMG_1898 (2)There are several bunches, but not nearly enough to make wine from.  So we’ll eat them.  The lavender is prolific.  It’s past it’s prime and is drying out, but the fragrance is heavenly.  I cut a bunch and put it in little bowls to freshen up the house.  It’s so nice to walk into the house and smell the faint aroma of lavender.  Again, if I lived here, I would save it and always have it in my drawers and closets to lightly scent everything.  The sunflowers are also on their way out.  They’re drooping and don’t follow the sun anymore.  But they’re huge and still gorgeous.  Walking on the path between the lavender and sunflowers you feel like you’re in some kind of Mediterranean jungle.

This morning we took one of favorite walks through the tobacco fields.  They’re harvesting now and working everyday to get the crop to market.  IMG_1891 (2)We live on the hill on one side of town.  On the other side is the road that circumnavigates this town.  Think 285, only about a half-mile from end to end.  You can go around that road without ever going down into the village.  All day we hear the chugging of tractors pulling wagons of freshly harvested tobacco back to the barn.  Then returning empty to load up again.

Fall is harvest time.  Grapes will be starting soon.  Olives later in November.  It’s a great time to be here.  Everything is full of promise and hope for a good yield.  We hope so, too, because we will definitely be eating and enjoying it all.



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