It’s been dry here. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not drawing parallels to our friends across the ditch or even to other parts of our glorious land; I’m just saying here on the Homestead there’s not been much rain.
As a result, some crops that are usually no-brainers haven’t really done that well. The runner beans for example, not enjoying the combination of high temperatures and hairdryer-like winds, have made an irritating habit of shriveling on the vine when we’re not looking. Others have loved it. The beetroot has been bountiful, growing to delightful/horrendous (depending on your taste) gigantic-ness. As I, your humble scribe, fall into the beetroot-fancier camp, I am not complaining but, quite understandably, others are – even Mother Nature can’t please them all – but they eat it anyway. Roasted, vinegar-ed, grated into pasta sauces, and baked into cakes; it doesn’t take much to turn bounty into excess but experimentation and being gracious goes a long way.
Another, more favourable, crop enjoying these conditions is that of the peaches. Everybody on the Homestead loves peaches but they now come with a definite memory-echo.
You see, last year, new to this Homestead, we used the birds to tell us when our fruit was ready. Luckily, all but The Bean Counter were home on 15 March 2019 when I noticed the peach trees had become the subject of a a great deal of mass feathery attention. It didn’t take long for all those human Homesteader’s hands to strip the trees (leaving a few for our winged friends because that’s the kind of folk we are) and we were waiting for the jam (peach jam – it just doesn’t get any better) to reach setting point when we first heard of it: the Christchurch Mosque Attacks.
While we were going about the incredibly homely act of preserving our peach harvest, three quarters of an hour up the road, people were being shot…at their place of worship…in our city…in Aotearoa New Zealand…
Here on the Homestead, we’ve done our share of discussing this over the last year, often over a peach crumble or a just-to-tide-me-over-until-teatime jam sandwich, and whilst we admit it’s childlike and naive, we always come back to the one, mind-blowingly obvious question: why don’t we all just get along?
The way we see it, we’re all simply humans; a crazy biped design with awe-inspiring internal systems and our own on-board computer that they still haven’t managed to fully replicate. We all have our own tastes, our own loves and loathes, our own quirks and quibbles, our own strengths and weaknesses. If, instead of concentrating on our irreconcilable differences, we just get on with getting along – you know, enjoying the company of those you like, avoiding those who rub you up the wrong way. We don’t need to all believe the same, look the same, or love the same. We can enjoy, value, dislike, laugh at, cringe from, worship, cry for, rage about, or idolise whatever we want; we just need to remember others may not share our way of thinking and be respectful of and at peace with that .
You know…just like we don’t all love beetroot.
Today it’s raining at the Homestead, the second or third day in the last week or so that autumn has definitely been in the air. It doesn’t take much to get the green back into the Homestead paddocks.
Gracious! It doesn’t take much.