Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Harvest time

Last Sunday I spent the day in the orchard picking our crop of freshly ripened apricots. After collecting for awhile I fought a tough battle trying to convice my host father that I wasn't going to fall out of a tree and break my leg reaching for the best of the best from the top branches.

The kids and I collected nearly 150 kilos before I decided my energy was better spent 'organizing' the boxes and crates into presentable rows and columns.

The next day I traveled to Yerevan on the train. It is my favorite time of year for this type of transportation. Spring and fall are when the train really comes to life with buyers and sellers loading their produce in through windows, yelling out prices and fighting for standing room. Luckily mine is one of the early stops so I always manage to get a good seat for the show.

My host father says that apricots have a different personality. They're more difficult than apples-which you can leave hanging for a few days. The family spent night and day in the field getting every last apricot down in it's right time. Even Sargis, my brother, stayed in a small 'domik' or shack to guard the crop in the night.

I've enjoyed seeing the process. There are pictures to illustrate it below:

First, you have to pick 'em...

Then to market...

With every last one finding it's purpose...these lucky few being juice and jam

I've finished all of my travel and now with only six weeks remaining I'm getting ready for a civic leadership camp and our FLEX pre-departure orientation (next week). Oh, and there's the job search too. It's a shame I won't be around for watermelon season. Maybe I just won't leave...


Anonymous said...

Those apricots look delicious. I'm sure the one I'm eating right now doesn't compare. I took your advice and did split it from the top with my hands to eat and I must admit it works quite well. I can't wait for you to come home and use all your talents to make us homemade jams and jellies :) Something tells me that even a watermelon won't convince you to stay come the end of July.

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA Aren't we being funny! Maybe you could pay for all of us to move there??? You and your big ideas! Look forward to seeing you soon. Love, UT

Emily Brittain said...

The photos are great, but don't quite do the train ride justice; it's way more chaotic than that. And the smells--apricots and peaches and grapes and that kurdish cheese--just don't come through. I think everyone really SHOULD go to Armenia to experience it!