Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On Apricots, Foraging, Bartering, and Canning

Last summer was a bountiful and delicious one. I experienced a moment of revelation in July when I visited my parent’s house and discovered an apricot tree, heavy laden with fragrant, plump fruit that seemed to beg me to put it to good use.
I spent the next two weeks in feverish harvest mode. I brought baskets of apricots to work to share with colleagues, made freezer jam with my boyfriend, boiled up hearty homemade preserves, and cut and froze what couldn’t be used immediately. I even consulted some elderly ladies from my church on the lost art of canning, and emerged the fruit in a light sugary syrup, later lining the humble cupboard of my apartment with bright, attractive Mason jars.

For an American who had long grown accustomed to my weekly drive to the grocery store fulfilling my dietary needs, I often thought (and still think) of food in terms of dollars and cents. Last summer, however, taught me that nature has the capacity of generously providing for our needs in the most palatable way imaginable, if we will invest the time and effort to harvest and preserve this food.

I am also fascinated by the in vogue concept of foraging and bartering for food. One example of this trend are the many websites that encourage those with a surplus of fruit or veggies to share with those in need, or link up with those from the community who will are willing to share their own surplus. I love the idea of preventing waste, and providing fresh, seasonal food to as many people as possible, while promoting community unity.

Maybe I’m drawn to these ideas because they represent a romantic return to a simpler life based on agriculture, nature and tradition. Whatever the draw, I say: Let’s celebrate nature’s bounty this year, in whatever capacity we can. Also - anybody wanna trade me for some apricots?


  1. I love apricots so much! I'll make you some cookies for some!

  2. I would totally trade you apricots for homemade hawaiian bread if I was there.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!