Pat Shingleton: "The Harvest and Indian Summer..."
The apple harvest is underway in northern orchards. Our backyard contained trees with adjacent lots providing a good crop for everyone. The harvest provided my Mom with enough produce to “put up” apple sauce, apple butter and freezer apples for pies and cobblers. To compliment refrigeration, a basement or spring house provided a “climate controlled” environment for turnips, potatoes, carrots, peaches and apples. Another location was an abandoned well. Our Dad and Grandfather devised a means of “basketing” apples, attached to a rope and lowered into the well; above the water line. An apple urge sent my Dad outdoors on a cold winter night. Attempting to retrieve the crisp treat he felt less rope tension and heard the splash. Cold weather above the 14 inch freeze-line snapped the line. In closing... This item has been mentioned in other articles with somewhat of an update. Indian summer occurs in mid to late autumn, usually after the first killing frost. It’s difficult to experience this in our sub-tropical, south Louisiana climate but is greatly appreciated through other sections of the country. Its usage has been traced to 1778 as Native Americans utilized these days to increase their winter food stores. In Europe a similar weather pattern has been called Old Wives’ summer, Halcyon days, and St. Martin’s summer. In previous columns, I referenced Indian summer on one of our broadcasts and received an e-mail from Marsha Reichle. She wrote, “Dear Pat: It’s called Indian summer when we have Apache fog.”