I had a recent revelation when I was sharing some fruit from our garden with friends and coworkers this summer. All around me, I am happily living with imperfection.

imperfect-fig-salad

Imperfect figs that made a fabulous summer salad

On one occasion, I was sharing a bowl full of perfectly ripe figs. When someone from the group spotted a fruit fly circling above, almost all of them turned their noses up at trying the delicious jewels. Fresh figs and no one wanted one? I couldn’t believe it…

imperfect-apricots

Imperfect apricots ready for the canning pot

And on another occasion, a friend was no longer interested in a fresh apricot after noticing some pocking on the skin from a late frost. The fruit was perfectly sweet and juicy, but the appearance of a small blemish was enough to turn them away.

imperfect-eggs

Imperfect eggs

As a gardener, and maybe one that has had this many seasons of toiling in the soil, I came to the realization that imperfection surrounds my garden and home. The eggs have smudges of dirt on them. There are usually fragments of straw from the chicken coop that somehow make their way into our living room. The kitchen is cluttered with big canning pots and an assortment of filled and empty jars.

imperfect-fruit-jam

Imperfect apricots and blackberries that made one hell of a jam

I see past all of that now. Working to grow what we eat is a labor of love and small blemishes can’t stop me from enjoying the fruits of my labor. It’s only when people who are not living some version of modern homesteading point it out to me that I even notice these imperfections.

I wasn’t embarrassed about the figs or the apricots. If anything, I was disappointed they would not be experiencing a bite of summer – something they won’t get in the grocery story or off the shelf. The sugars were perfectly developed and the skin was hot from the summer sun. I’ll take those experiences in trade for some less-than-perfect fruit any old day.

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