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Summer pours forth its bounty and beauty

Summer pours forth its bounty in these waning days of the season. For weeks, we’ve been feasting on Silver Rill corn, tomatoes, beans, blackberries, blueberries and zucchinis. Much of them came from friends and neighbours who’ve toiled in their gardens all summer and are now reaping of the overflow. Today, a friend in the Spalding Valley had us come by and pick a quarter row of this amazing basil!

We’re past the Pender Fall Fair, another celebration of delectable produce from the gardens of Pender. The sun shone on the Community Hall grounds and on the happy faces of all our neighbours. It was a fair in the truest sense, with music, dancing, contests, speeches.

The season of fairs and dances

This was some of the haul from the Happy Monk Baking Company for the South Pender Grower’s and Maker’s Market. Einkorn loaves on top, Salish Sourdoughs below, and Cinnamon Raisin loaves tucked in behind.

Yesterday, September 1, the South Pender Growers and Makers Market happened on the idyllic grounds of the Church of the Good Shepherd. The forecast called for clouds and rain, but the skies cleared and the sun filtered through the towering fir and cedar scattered around the periphery of the grounds. It was a glorious day for meeting neighbours, admiring tables of produce, flowers arts and crafts and baked goods. There were even two bread makers … not just the Happy Monk!

I often feel wistful at the end of a season. This summer has been busy for Jennifer and me. The days have been a blur. But these end of summer rituals, the fairs and markets, the shows are a mark of passage for yet another glorious season. I look back on the days and have the sense that life has passed by right in front of our eyes.

We’ve had our fill of sun-dappled days, true. And afternoons by the sea and clear mornings. And the food! I wish Summer could stand still awhile. But that’s because I don’t want it to end! And here we are! Ah, life!

And now Fall beckons

Dylan Thomas’ own wistful poem, “Fern Hill” comes to mind in these days of the waning season. It is somehow more beautiful to look back on the glorious days than forward to the uncertain future.

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
Golden in the heydays of his eyes,
And honoured among wagons I was prince of the apple towns
And once below a time I lordly had the trees and leaves
Trail with daisies and barley
Down the rivers of the windfall light.

Dylan Thomas, Fern Hill

But I know well that the glorious Fall, stretches out ahead of us. I look forward to the smells and colours. The cooler breezes, the first frosty mornings. And, always, the smell of baked bread coming out of the wood-fired oven!

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