23 August 2007
Millions of Peaches
The other day I was at the grocery store, and this lady came up to me and asked, "Are you local?" I wondered what about my disheveled appearance had given me away as local. Does local imply that you are comfortable appearing in public in scrubby, pollen-and-peach covered jeans and t-shirt, obviously un-groomed hair, and make-up smeared by multiple sneezes and nose-blowings? Aloud, I said, "Yes, why do you ask?" Her real motive surfaced: "Is it too late to get peaches?" I responded,"As a matter of fact, I am canning peaches right now. I'm here to buy pectin!"
My sister and I had gone out to Farmer John's orchard to pick peaches that very morning, so I told the lady my sister's address so she could go get a box. (We already had six boxes, and as we were only making jam, that was more than plenty.)
During our morning peach-picking adventure, we ran out of gas on the way home and coasted for nearly two miles, through a stop sign, and past many drivers who were annoyed that we were traveling at a rate between one third and one half of the posted speed limit.
After another trip out to the orchard yesterday, I realized that there is something incredibly invigorating about the whole peach picking and canning process. Pollen and all sorts of microbial biological things float through the orchard air and dust you with primordial life. And it is so satisfying at the end of a day to look at those beautiful bottles of home canned peaches and think, "I really accomplished something--and it's edible!"
I was once annoyed by a comment on how red-neckish the residents of southern Utah are. However, I have decided now--after riding in the back of a truck I pushed to start down a road on the way home from picking peaches--that rustic is a romping riot. Being a local is living the Good Life.