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  • Writer's pictureJeni Kelsch

Imperfect Apples

Sigh, Fall. I love Fall. It is so refreshing after the swelter of early August to get up one morning to wander outside naked (just kidding- mostly naked) and realize you might actually be chilly. Suddenly, tasks that seemed so monumental in the heat are possible. I can rip out the tomatoes that never really took off and pretend they never happened, replacing them with spinach or kale or some other vegetable my family will never eat but I plant anyway because they look pretty.

The animals feel the change coming. They are slower to start in the morning, the little miniature rooster outside my bedroom window crows at 6:00, but only about six times before he seems to say, “Ya know, it can wait.” (I really should move the bantams away from my bedroom window). The goats are downright lazy, I can go down to the barn at 9 and find them jumping up with guilty looks for getting caught sleeping in. Frank and I recently rebuilt the floor of the goat barn, and repaired the walls, and replaced the feeders (goats destroy everything), and the goats act like I gave them a king size bed, they just seem to find it all so luxurious. We will see how long it lasts before they decide they want to rearrange the room.

So now we turn our thoughts to Fall, to pumpkins and yellow leaves and imperfect apples. We live in an agricultural area and thus I have friends that are volunteer gleaners. They clean up the commercial farms by collecting produce in the fields that are the rejects of the grocery industry. I love the rejects, they remind me of myself. We get apples with not so flawless skin, a little soft in places, or bruised from their travels. I adore these apples, I paint a picture of one every fall. I relish the fact that because of their imperfect growing, they have so many more colors in them than the ones at the store. The bruises and dents make them stand alone in a space, intriguing in their imperfections, somehow looking more authentic than the flawless and repetitive Red Delicious apples overpopulating the market. I could draw all the parallels between these apples and ourselves for you but I think I will leave it at this: Thank God for imperfect apples.

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