Ahhhh, The Peace of an Orchard

Every year we take a trip to North Georgia and Western South Carolina to experience the cooler weather of the N. Ga. mountains and some of the wonderful produce they grow in the area. Invariably we wind up bringing back boxes of fruits and vegetables to bring back to our home at the coast. The trip wouldn’t be complete without a stop at one of our favorite orchards to pick your own.

I’m not much of a picker, but I always enjoy the peace of the beautiful area, all the gorgeous trees and, of course, the lush fruit hanging from the limbs. We try to schedule our trip for when the green apples, Granny Smiths, Mutsu, and the like, are ready for picking because they are my husband’s favorite. Still, we have a chance to see even the later apples as they are ripening and completing the picture.

Along with the apple orchards, I love when we drive by pecan orchards around the South. Although we don’t stop and gather our own pecans, I’m always filled with the peace of those giant trees as they stand in their wide-spread rows, casting shade on the ground where, when it’s time, hundreds of pecans will dot the ground. To my mind nothing is more majestic than a well-tended pecan orchard.

That made it easy for me to imagine the peace and beauty of the orchard Mother Superior finds in the most recent book in the Reverend Mother Mystery Series, Murder in an orchard Cemetery by Cora Harrison. The book, which takes place in the early 1900’s in Ireland, has Mother Superior going on a retreat to another convent, along with other officials of the church. Because the Bishop waives the normal requirement of silence for the retreat, Mother Superior finds herself seeking solace in the convent’s orchard which doubles as a cemetery for the nuns of the convent. That is, it’s peaceful until a bomb goes off, killing one of the retreat’s attendees. Needless to say, the peace is shattered and it will take Mother Superior’s unique observational skills to solve the case. For more information, check out the link above.

Now I’m ready for some fresh fruits and vegetables, but our trip is still some time away. Good thing I know where I can find some locally grown tomatoes, cantaloupe, and cucumbers. If I’m lucky I may find some fresh corn and then I’ll be good. As for you, I’ll just say Happy Reading.