Jacqueline Soule here, busy in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, getting baskets of garden goodies ready for gifting. Many of the topics we Savor Sister have discussed over the years are finding their way into those baskets.
Some of the topics I featured in the last twelve months that are great for gifts:
* lemon cordial – December 2016
* pomegranate (made into jelly) – January 2017
* seeds (some used as herbs) – March 2017
* lemon pickle – April 2017
* turmeric root (chopped and dried) – June 2017
* sunflower (dried heads for friends with birds) July 2017
All of these gifts from your Southwest garden require planning ahead. Harvesting, drying, preserving the bounty of the earth takes time and effort at the time that the bounty is offered. Sharing the bounty is – in so many ways – the entire point of this season, no matter what religion or non-religion you embrace.
As the solar year cycles through, the days get shorter and shorter, the darkness of night gets longer and deeper, until, on one specific day, the days start getting longer again, and darkness decreases. We humans now living with artificial light may miss the point of just how tremendous this turning back the dark is.
To celebrate this season of renewed light we give gifts that were generated by light! Solar light that is – light that shines down on the earth, ripening the grain so we can make flour, ripening the cane so we can make sugar, growing the trees for cinnamon and cloves, causing the flowers that grow into vanilla beans, and then we combine them in many tasty ways.
We would not be here, nor have any gifts to give, without the bounty of the earth and sun. Even if you give gifts made of plastic and metal, the plastic comes originally from plants, and metal came up out of the earth. Points to ponder as the sun cycle continues and the days grow longer once again.
However you celebrate the season, I wish you joy and peace and bounty in the year ahead.
If you live in Southeastern Arizona, please come to one of my lectures. Look for me at your local Pima County Library branch, Steam Pump Ranch, Tubac Presidio, Tucson Festival of Books and other venues. After each event I will be signing copies of my books, including the latest, Month-by-Month Garden Guide for Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico (Cool Springs Press, $26).
© Article copyright by Jacqueline A. Soule. All rights reserved. Republishing an entire blog post or article is prohibited without permission. I receive many requests to reprint my work. My policy is that you may use a short excerpt but you must give proper credit to the author, and must include a link back to the original post on our site. Photos © Jacqueline A. Soule may not be used. Some photos in this post are courtesy of Pixabay.