The Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia never fails to beckon my husband and I to make the forty-five minute drive during harvest time. Perhaps it holds a measure of nostalgia since we spent our honeymoon twenty-nine years ago in the university town of Wolfville during the Canadian Thanksgiving season. Ever since we enjoy taking a day or two down to this beautiful part of our province to experience what the autumn offers. It’s not the only time we visit here but to us it seems most special in the fall.
Puttering in my favorite farmer’s market we purchase a huge zucchini, new potatoes and freshly picked apples. Down the road we stop at another market for fresh bread, peppers, and more apples for juicing. The U-pick parking lots are full as customers descend on apple orchards ripe for harvesting.
We pop into an antique store that is closing out. This one has beautiful pieces of china, crystal, linens, and furniture. I can’t resist buying an old doll-size high chair! The owner is a doll collector and says wistfully, “I hope you have a doll to sit in that chair!” I do, and it fits perfectly!
Late in the afternoon we happen upon a tiny old church at a fork in the road. An “Open” sign on the door invites us in. As we step inside, I am taken back in time. I envision parishioners arriving in horse-drawn carriages…women in long skirts and bonnets…the organist playing “Bringing In the Sheaves” on the little old pump organ…a circuit preacher reminding the faithful to “love thy neighbor as thyself”…a bride and groom vowing to love each other “until death do us part”. A note on the back wall indeed verifies this is a popular wedding venue today.
Corn is also ripe and the local corn maze is buzzing with young and old alike trying to find their way through eight-foot tall stalks. Golden brown fields stretch towards the horizon. Looking closer I see mature ears of corn waiting to be picked. My mind takes me back to corn boils on the beach in PEI when I was a teenager.
I learned something this week about corn I had never known. You know how frustrating it is to remove all that corn silk before eating? I discovered that as an ear of corn grows, a single strand of silk emerges from each potential kernel. In order for the kernel to develop, each silk strand must be individually pollinated as the wind carries pollen from one plant to another. If a silk strand is not pollinated, no kernel grows in that spot.[i] That’s why some ears of corn are missing a few kernels or the tips are bare! I never knew this!
It’s facts like this that cause me to marvel at the intricacy of God’s creation. Last night I read in my Bible,
“You show your care for the land by sending rain; You make it rich and fertile. You fill the streams with water; You provide the earth with crops. This is how You do it: You send abundant rain on the ploughed fields and soak them with water; You soften the soil with showers and cause the young plants to grow. What a rich harvest Your goodness provides! Wherever You go there is plenty. The pastures are filled with flocks; the hillsides are full of joy. The fields are covered with sheep; the valleys are full of wheat. Everything shouts and sings for joy.” (Psalm 65:9-13, TEV)
Happy Harvest Time everyone!
Until next time,
[i] Myron, Vicki. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, 2008, Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY, pg. 208-209