The Unfettered Abundance Of Summer

wild blackberries on the vine
These grow everywhere where I live, whether you want them or not. Wild berries are smaller and more tart, make amazing jams, or stick them in lemoncello and sit on the porch and watch the long dusk fading into purple evening.

Summer may be hot and brutal here, but it is also wildy abundant; everything profuses, reaching for the light with twisting greenery and bright fruit. Wherever you are, there is probably a local delicacy that has a lightning flash season, some flavor you have to rush to catch before the creatures find it and devour it themselves. I grew up near a Spinach festival; unromantic, perhaps, but flavorful in its season. I didn’t appreciate it as a child, but now, I like it, fresh and crisp, inexpensive and full of fiber and nutrition. Here, there are local blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. You can go to farmers’ markets, or you can go to ‘pick your own’ farms. As ever, each region has its own flavors.

In this spirit, I found this website, that covers festivals in 132 countries — there’s something near you, I can almost promise. Let’s have a look at a few of them that are upcoming, shall we?

Lisbon, Iowa – Sauerkraut Days ‘Great things come to those who kraut.’ I don’t really care for sauerkraut, but they have an amazing slogan. Starts August 15th. How could you not?

Pullman, Washington – Lentil Festival I can’t decide whether lentils or spinach is more romantic, If you’re in the area on August 16, you could head that way.

Lompoc Valley, California – Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance Celebrates Wine and Fire August 16.It’s not summer without a good, old-fashioned fire festival, I always say. Note: I have, in fact, said this before.

Manhattan, Montana – Manhattan Potato Festival Montana, not New York. August 17. There will be potatoes.

For my friends overseas:

Newchurch, Isle of Wight – Isle of Wight Garlic Festival They have garlic ice cream. I’m just going to assume you’re already packing for this trip.

Auckland, New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay Wine Celebration I know you guys aren’t doing summer right now. But it’s a wine celebration, so I’m saying it doesn’t matter what season it is. September 4.

I could go on and on here, but you get the idea. Through history, we’ve all sort of decided we should feast while there are good things to be feasted on, for WINTER IS COMING. Have a look at that link – you can search by country or state, and month of the year, and see what’s good nearby. Eat well, my friends.

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