The noise outside is picking up. We sit here waiting as tropical storm Hanna makes a beeline for our neck of the woods. The phone rang this morning. It was a friend informing us that the farm across the street was looking for people to help them pick the apples and peaches from their trees before the storm arrived. The predicted winds would do major damage to the heavily laden branches that already sagged under the weight of the late summer bounty.

Another reason to become more connected to your local foodshed and the farmers that produce it. With the coming storm, we made sure to secure anything that might be a projectile in the coming winds, but it didn’t cross our minds to think about how this might effect the local crops that we’ve been depending on. Now we know.

It felt good to spend a morning laboring – even in the choking humidity (“just rain already!” I kept calling out). Besides the satisfaction of being useful, it was a wonderful opportunity to further connect with people in our community who feel strongly about supporting local food and farmers.

After a few hours of picking, we walked home hot, wet, and generously rewarded with as many apples and peaches as we could carry. The apples are already tucked away in a cool closet. Soon we will put the peaches in jars and add them too our growing collection of winter staples.

Meanwhile, we will hope that the trees make it safely through another tropical storm. Even with all of the bushels of beautiful fruit safely placed in cool storage, there will inevitably be more work to make use of the windfall that is sure to follow.