Life as I know It

My photo
San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine, United States
Author ~ Illustrator ~ Lecturer

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Whispering Leaves

The trees are whispering their autumn song. They swish, rustle, murmur, as they sigh and dance close to each other, then twist and twirl to the ground.

Hey Sharon, I see you picking up fallen apples...don't you want to share with a friend?

I always have plenty of harvest to share with friends, especially friends with such gorgeous brown eyes.  These were all picked in the last couple of days. Those Brown Turkey figs are the best, the Feijoas (the green fruit in front), are commonly called pineapple guavas. They do have that great taste. I eat them straight from the trees, freeze them, juice them, and include them in apple crumbles. These are the sweet  fruits of my childhood. My playhouse-hide-out was in a huge guava tree where the picking and eating was always good in the autumn.

And at the hundred year old ranch of our dear friends Susie and Ellis Bassetti (you saw Susie and Ellis in my last post with Sue Branch and Joe Hall at our house), the sugar in their award winning grapes is perfect, so yesterday was a harvest day for us. 

Really? I am responsible for totally picking every ripe fruit on one of those rows (which stretch out of eyesight). 

How long are those rows?

And, though I love the big leaves, no big leaves or stems to ruin the crush. I filled this first trug, but then I had to spend ten minutes pulling out my artful displays of leaves.

You didn't necessarily see the person working across the vines from you, but you had great conversations, as juicy and rich as the grapes.

Trug filled till we couldn't move them.

Workers picked up our trugs (like they were feather light), and tossed them into the big bin behind the tractor.

The big bins were loaded onto a truck. We picked 23 of these big bins, which equals about 11 tons!

Where Ellis (the owner of the ranch), Matty, and Bruce offer their two cent$ worth of input.

Cindy Steidel's kale, brussel sprout, and almond salad.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, (as has been the tradition for eons), the talented women cook up goodies for all of us hungry workers.

Ginny gives things the taste test.

Fallen pomegranates for decoration.

Vito and ChaCha look for anything we drop from the serving table.

Susie Bassetti (ranch owner) is perhaps the best hostess I know. Next month Susie and Ellis, Jeff and I are hosting a book celebration for Sue Branch here at the ranch. Hopefully, if it is a nice day we will be able to eat outside under the arbor.

The grape and wisteria arbor is our favorite outdoor dining room. Ellis and Bruce made the twenty foot table and used four empty wine barrels as legs. Pretty nifty, huh?

Ellis Bassetti, our host and the consummate grower.

Ginny (left), Susie, our hostess, Matty the willing grape slave.

So now dear friends, you've seen some (tip of the proverbial iceberg), of the work and love lavished on a crop. This is done daily by a huge force of farmers and ranchers across the countryside. Bless them all.

May the fields, the vines, the trees, and the workers take rest. (Beautiful banner by talented artist Victoria Greene of Cambria).


Lucky number 104-CHRIS MORGAN.

Chris, please send us your mailing address so we can ship your autographed Susan Branch book. Congratulations!

Joys to all,



Belinda said...

Congratulations, Chris!

Mim said...

Those pictures are all absolutely gorgeous and wonderful - and what a spread. lovely post

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh what an amazing experience, such beautiful photos, this would be such an experience, hope you are well, would you like some snow? Its falling right now!

Hindsfeet said...

loved the "Take Rest" art here, Sharon.....made it the background/wallpaper on my laptop so I can soak in the sentiment a bit.....and hope that it takes deep root.....

sweet autumnal rest for you, Sharon,

Julie Marie said...

Congratulations to Chris!... oh Sharon, what a beautiful post this is!... love all of the stunning Autumn colors and the vineyard is amazing!... wow, you picked alot of grapes!... what a wonderful place to spend the day... and your dinner under the arbor looks like so much fun... LOVE Vito and Cha Cha!... this is my very favorite time of year... I just wish these gorgeous Autumn days would last forever... how fun you are planning a book celebration for Susan Branch... I love that the two of you have been close friends for so long... and share so many of the same passions in life... sending you lots of love, and wishes for more blissful Fall days like the one you showed us today... Hello Jeff!... xoxo Cousin Julie Marie

Privet and Holly said...

Sharon, I could feel the
sunshine, smell the grapes
and taste the fruit in this
post. Lovely! And the meal
at that wonderful long table ~
be still my heart : )

Happy Autumn, dear friend!

xo Suzanne

Nellie said...

Beautiful, Sharon! It is such a lot of hard work to keep up with these crops, but the rewards are well worth it. What fun to plan a book party for Susan and Joe!

Sending hugs and good wishes to all!
xo Nellie

kj said...

what a day, what a life! i love tagging along with you. did you think of lucy ricardo while you were grape-ing?
(my favorite 'i love lucy episode of all time)

to eat under that arbor must be like eating under the stars. how utterly wonderful.

thinking of you, ms. sharon honey my friend.
love love

Nellie said...

Beautiful, Sharon! It is such a lot of hard work to keep up with these crops, but the rewards are well worth it!

Wonderful salad!

How exciting that you are planning a book party for Susan and Joe!

Sending hugs and good wishes to all!

xo Nellie

Blondie's Journal said...

Fantastic post, Sharon! it takes more than a village to harvest those grapes. Do the Basseti's make their own wine? Now if that meal under the arbor is your reward for your hard work, include me in next year! :)


La Table De Nana said...

Abundance..glorious abundance.

Lorrie said...

Such richness of autumn in your corner of the world. The grapes are so luscious looking. But what a lot of hard work! Glad the conversation was lively and helped to pass the time.

Carol said...

What a lovely post Sharon . . . I love the image of 'sighing leaves' and what a setting to harvest grapes. You move in wondrous circles. Wonderful table and arbor!

Anonymous said...

Very hard work, but sitting down together in such beautiful surroundings must more than makes up for it. I really enjoyed reading this post and looking at the photos.

Kay G. said...

Never been to a vineyard and picked grapes, what a great post.
Eleven tons of grapes, how much wine will be made from that?

Vee said...

What fun! Thank you for sharing your day picking grapes. Now do you get to stomp on them? No, I should not think so. What wonderful words about rest that can work also as a metaphor for life. Hope that you're getting some rest, too. You always seem such the busy gal. Congrats to Chris!

rebeccasweet said...

There's nothing quite like harvest day in the wine country, is there? Thanks for sharing your magical day with us! I have a big bowl of feijoas sitting on my kitchen counter and eat at least 5 of them a day. I never thought to use them in a crumble - what a great idea!! XOXO

Gail said...

Such a wonderful story. You have a gift for bringing your reader right through the screen into the action...Thank you.

seedlady said...

took a "Gifts from the Pantry" class from Susi at the ranch years ago--what fun it was and yes, what a great hostess. The harvest colors of your wonderful post made me remember it. thanks!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi "Seedlady,"

Susie and I taught some classes together. Did you ever attend a Christmas class at my home "Seekhaven" and then over to the ranch?

Thanks for your visit,


Betty said...

You must be fit Sharon! That sounds like a lot of hard work. Beautiful surroundings and lovely sunny day! I bet you enjoyed lunch under that lovely arbour.
Thanks for sharing such beauty.
Congrats. to Chris. She is going to enjoy that lovely book!
Happy days,

Marcie said...

Thank you for taking us grape picking along with you. Our 45 vines seem like a tiny plot, compared to your friend's vineyard! I hope autumn is rolling along sweetly for you!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Aisling dear,

I have only six vines here and I can't keep up with its production. So, 45 sounds like a handful to me.

Thanks for stopping by. I'll visit you later today.



Marcie said...

Sharon, This is only the second year for my vines, so I plucked most of the blossoms. Left a few just to try them out. Next year, I may not be able to keep up! We make a really simple grape juice with the clusters of grapes tucked right into the jar. A little sugar or honey, some boiling water and (ta-dah!) grape juice just like my mother used to make! :)

cath hy photographie & peinture said...

Je découvre ton blog sur blogspot, j'aime beaucoup ton travail! Des aventures et de très belles photos.
Je suis artiste peintre, photographe amateur; je me suis inscrite pour suivre tes publications!
Je t'invite à me rendre visite sur mes blogs, merci beaucoup!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Translation from comment above:

I discovered your blog on blogspot, I love your work! Adventures and beautiful pictures.
I am a painter, amateur photographer, I joined to follow your publications!
I invite you to visit me on my blog, thank you so much!"

Yes, please visit her blog.

sue said...

Sharon, no never visited your cute Cambria home. Bet that was fun! Just Susie's ranch. It was about this time of year as we were making Gifts from the Pantry, in the early 90's. Did your zinnias perform well last year? I remember you were looking for hot colors at the Miner's seed rack...
happy Fall!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

HI Sue,

My Botanical Interests Zinnias looked fabulous!!!!!

Even though I was gone the ones in the pots did well too. Look at my newest blog posting for one of the pots that ended up being moved to a shady spot. Even though they were shaded, they still did fine.

Cheers to you,


Lili said...

The scene of everyone seated at that long table under the arbor reminds me of a Renoir painting. So lovely. You always have such great times, in unforgettable surroundings. xoxo