By Lois Rosen

You’re not gonna waste a crop like that,
not with what they charge at the IGA
and factory-canned never tastes flavourful
not after you’ve enjoyed home-canned.

Pick Fairhavens and Elbertas.
They grow best in this valley.
In the hot, then cold
makes ‘em easier to peel.

Feed the peel to the cattle.
They love the snack.
Sometimes I even think I taste
a hint of that sweetness
in the meat.

Let the fruit cool good
and use a real sharp knife
to slice them even.
Quarters pack easier than halves.

Pour in syrup,
tighten the lids,
but not too much,
and be sure to time the boil.

What I love best
is how the kitchen smells fragrant.

Make sure all the screens
on the windows are shut tight
or the butterflies and bees
flit in here to sip the pools
of juice on the counter.
Who can blame them?

The hardest part is lifting
the huge kettle off the stove.
There’s no one to call for help
when crops need harvesting
and the men are on the combine
sunup to sundown.

No, I don’t can every last peach.
A good batch, a couple of bushels worth,
I cut up raw, sprinkle with preservative
and put in freezer bags for baking.

Tell me now what beats
homemade peach pie, cobbler,
or waffles topped with dollops
of fresh cream, and I’ll tell you
nothing in this world tastes better.