Verjuice

All is well, each day is busy and full. 

We have 4-5 grapevines which, following a good spring season, are laden with swelling bunches of grapes.  Some of them are just beginning to darken up as they ripen.  With the amount of fruit, lots of bunches were crowding in on each other and they needed to be thinned out.   Disliking waste, we reluctantly began this process.  Then, Miranda remembered that you can use the juice of unripe grapes – what juice there is – for making verjuice.  Simply you whiz up the unripe grapes and then squeeze out the juice through a cloth.  The juice is quite astringent and can be used in place of water, or wine in cooking, or as a glaze.   The process is a bit time consuming, but the reward is you get something you can use out of what might otherwise be waste, or go to compost.  The remaining solids were put in with the pig food and so nothing was wasted. 

Actually there’s a lot of using things which would otherwise be thrown out going on at the moment.  Lettuces and other plants which are going to seed, get gobbled up by the goats.  Leaves off branches which get trimmed off are welcomed by the sheep. Bird-pecked plums and wind-fall apples get thrown in as well.  Over spring we had a vague idea of how things might work out late in summer when grass might be running low and as animals grew bigger, but we did not anticipate just how nicely it would come together.

Reflecting on this experience, a philosophy in life that “nothing is wasted” attracts me far more, at the moment, than one that reasons, “all things happen for a reason”.  Approaching hardships and joys in life with an attitude that all our experiences can be useful – over time – is one which encourages growth and development.  However, what if we view life from the stance that “all things happen for a reason”? How are people supported, especially when tragedy hits?  “Well there’s got to be a reason for it” is quite unhelpful reasoning for people facing trauma or long term hardship.  Also, what type of God is projected, if we see a God behind everything which happens in life?

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