In the midst of a summer yard clean-up and forest fire watches, our Victory Garden has slowly begun to provide us with summer squash and peppers. The orchard has provided cherries and early apples so far (read about how to keep the birds from eating your fruit). We wondered if the produce was in jeopardy yesterday when we awoke to the sound of helicopters at dawn. My mom and I were headed to civilization to shop for clothing to cover a pregnant belly and as we left we saw the helicopter carrying a bucket from a point about a mile away to some more distant spot in the forest. I pointed it out to my husband.
“Sander, I want pictures but don’t be a hero. If the ask you to evacuate, just evacuate.”
Those helicopters are usually dropping a red powder fire retardant on fires but we saw no smoke. We wondered how the situation would progress as we were gone.
When we returned to a blue sky we knew that our Victory Garden was safe from fire and stopped at the local post office for a report. It turns out that the whole affair was related to gardening after all. The four gardeners tending their crop left on foot as law enforcement moved their garden bounty out by helicopter. Three gardeners were still on foot yesterday evening, adding to the excitement in this community. If they showed up here, we planned to show them our own victory garden, far less exciting but more nourishing. Getting caught with our sort requires no jail time.
Our Victory Garden, then, has lived another day and should be in peak production in about three weeks. In eleven days from now at least 150 people will be joining us on our property for the wedding of a friend, so it is convenient for us that the garden has decided to wait until after the event to help us fill our freezer. Until the bounty (and in a very busy season of wedding preparation), one of our favorite recipes for the summer harvest is roasted vegetables. Last fall my mom posted a video about roasted peppers, a technique that can be used for summer squash as well. For the freezer and pantry, we plan a number of casseroles, eggplant stuffed with ricotta, tomato sauces (from the thirty tomato plants), and soups. We will work on posting the recipes.