Folks, when I was a boy, I spent hours every summer in the garden, picking a feed sack full of green beans one week, a bucket of cherries another, a basket of beets, or a bushel of tomatoes. I dug potatoes—russet and sweet—and pulled onions. I picked peppers, and pickled peppers, just like Peter Piper. My mother was the piper, and I paid her by bringing the harvest to her kitchen, where she pickled beets, canned tomatoes and green beans, sorted potatoes, braided onions, boiled cherries with sugar and pectin into preserves, and began to ferment cabbage into sauerkraut. All summer long we worked.
“You grow too much,” I complained one hot September afternoon after spending two hours picking and pickling peppers.
“I grow what we eat, and what we will eat,” she said. “It’s good to have reserves.”