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Archive for September, 2010

Dreaming of Apples

This poem won the Ralph Nadding Hill Literary Award for 2012, to be published in Vermont Life Magazine.

DREAMING OF APPLES
For Z.

By Diana Lischer-Goodband, copyright 2001

I dream of apples like some people dream of money, love and success.
I just want apples: round, glistening and scented like a mountain morning;
a treasure chest of garnets, rubies and golden globes of perfect fruit:

Hudson’s Golden gem, Black Oxford, Roxbury Russet.

I dream of apples in the winter, when the world is sleeping.
Apples waiting to be pruned before the arrival of the carnival of bee hives,
Their colored boxes alerting our bear-of-a-dog to beware of bees.

I dream of apples in the spring, when apple blossoms shiver,
Shaking their pink confetti over intoxicated bees buzzing,
Careening in frantic circuitry of bee-lines to flowers soft with pollen.

In summer, the fruit grows plump like well-fed children
Playing in the sun, cheeks flushed from the exertion of ripening.
I dream of their fruition, and my desire for apples grows stronger:

Sheepnose, Blue Permain, Hubbardston Nonesuch.

I dream that the fruit will bear me to ecstasy-
To pie, perhaps to dream of more voluptuous fruit,
The sweet-tart crunch of taut apple flesh.

In fall, the trees beckon with perfumed temptation,
Their apples overbearing, overwhelming:

I dream of apples.

Only harvest means anything to me.

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Autum Sheep

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Zeke in his plum-colored cap – a favorite color….

PLUM GOOD!

By Diana Lischer-Goodband, copyright 2010

Ok, enough people have been begging my husband for his wife’s crabapple plum jam recipe.

My husband, Zeke Goodband, becomes a stranger as he works 7 days a week now to get the apple crop in. Originally collecting scion wood over 30 years ago from old timers in Maine, Zeke has introduced over 60 heirloom varieties to Scott Farm in Dummerston. Local fans of “Zeke’s Eco Apples”call him “the guru of fruits”, “a national treasure” and a modern day Johnny Appleseed, having also introduced these heirloom varieties to Alysson’s Orchard across the river in Walpole, New Hampshire.

Zeke’s Damson plums are paired in this recipe with Dolgo Crab Apples, from Kazakhstan, where the apple originated.

Diana’s Dolgo Crabapple and Damson Plum Jam

The recipe is really great because of Zeke’s fruit.

3 c. quartered, unpeeled Dolgo crabapples

1 1/3 c. water

4 c. sliced Damson plums

2 1/2 c. sugar 

1/2 c. dry red wine

1. Place crabapples and water in large stainless steel pan. Bring to
boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat and boil gently 10 minutes or
until fruit is soft. Discard solids. Do not overcook. Press apples
through sieve.

2. Return crabapple mash to pan. Add plums, sugar and wine. Bring to
full boils and boil rapidly, uncoverd until mixture forms a gel (about 20
minutes). Stir frequently. Remove from heat.

3. Ladle into 1/2 pint sterilized jars and process in hot water bath for
5 minutes.

Makes 6 cups.

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Stars

Stars
light my way
to sleep
I dare not
go alone
into the night
of hidden worlds,
when quiet
is a whisper
and dawn
comes too quickly.

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Apple Harvest Widow

Listen to Diana read the “Apple Harvest Widow” on VPR.

Apple Harvest Widow

Dummerston Woman becomes an “apple harvest widow” once again.

This time of year apple farmers work long hours to pick, pack and sell apples. Dianna Lischer Goodband is the wife of an orchard manager in Dummerston. Every harvest season she becomes an “apple harvest widow.”

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Dummerston Barn

This barn is an Old English style barn with ocular (round) windows circa 1792. It has “gunstock” post and beam construction, clapboard outer walls, metal roof, a dirt floor and stone foundation. It is 2 stories high with 3 separate hay lofts. The barn has been used in the past to house cattle and horses. Currently the barn shelters 13 sheep, 1 guard llama, 1pig, 5 chickens and 250 bales of hay.
http://www.dummerstonconservation.com/

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Where did the Wishing Go?

Where did the wishing go?
Even though I could not help but see,
that in order to be free as the night,
the hurt must grow tight and alive
as a wire in a hive of bees.
Would you please tell me:
Where did the wishing go?

Or how did I come to lose
the childish news of my dreaming,
the crystal gaze seeming to dissolve
my sorry resolve in living
and clinging to fruit trees;
I stand stinging with their smell
of rotten memory that fell with apples
Down.

What name do I climb as a tree
to claim my essential heart,
that lonely part as free and steady
as twilight’s heady pouring,
swollen into morning, until-
again to starry night
it will carry me golden.
Until bold, then-
I will seek the bright and singing sky.

Copyright 1998

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