The birds enjoyed every single one of last year's grapes, just before they were ready to be picked.
Rural Ontario presents many opportunities to eat seasonally and locally, at least in our relatively short growing season. Thanks to The Ottawa Valley Food Co-op, we now order our meat locally, and pick it up nearby. Their website offers many local products, and we have enjoyed pork, beef, tomatoes, baby food, and body-care products all created in the Ottawa Valley. We are increasingly less dependent on the grocery store, which makes us happy!
I think most Valleyites would agree, though, that eating seasonally can be more challenging in the wintertime. Most of us do some canning, and are working towards preserving a majority of our summer produce to keep us going through the winter. The old crabapple trees that dot our property tell tales of former farmers, who would have stuffed them in jars, covered them with syrup, and enjoyed them through the winter as a sweet treat, as well as a good source of Vitamin C.
While I do make lots of jelly from our crabapples, and thank the person who planted them decades ago, I can see my children choosing scurvey over crabapples for dessert for 6 months of the year.
We do have a small "orchard" (I'm using that grand term very generously), and we hope to cultivate and expand it as the years go by. For now, we get a few items for fresh eating (it's hard to keep those apples on the trees when they're the perfect height for 3-5 year olds' hands...):
These guys look about ready to be harvested.
This year we got 1
warped, homely lovely pear, no blueberries (hens or wild birds beat us to them), and the grapes are ripening. We may need to put some netting over the grapes to discourage the birds this year. The apples get picked when the kids feel peckish during an outside play. Our favourite Ontario fruit is the blessed peach, ordered by the bushel from the Niagara region, and quickly turned into peach conserve and peach pie...watch tomorrow's post for my favourite peach recipes.