Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sudden, red.

Karina, Jim with his fermented Tennessee Cherry peppers, and Sarah
This past Monday a group of AmeriCorps volunteers and I visited Jim Smith; because it was continuously rainy, we ended up helping Jim take care of things inside the house, rather than helping him on the farm. We readied peppers for the dehydrator and learned about their various flavors and uses.  Jim has had a difficult few years, as he is operating the farm alone. Nevertheless, he keeps going.

What I love about this picture is that while the women are working, Jim has opened a large jar of fermenting Tennessee Cherry peppers, and is smelling a spoonful of the spicy brine. It makes me think of a Robert Hass poem from Time and Materials.

The Problem Of Describing Color

If I said--remembering in summer,
The cardinal's sudden smudge of red
In the bare gray winter woods--

If I said, red ribbon on the cocked straw hat
Of the girl with pooched-out lips
Dangling a wiry lapdog
In the painting by Renoir--

If I said fire, if I said blood welling form a cut--

Or flecks of poppy in the tar-grass scented summer air
On a wind-struck hillside outside Fano--

If I said, her one red earring tugging at her silky lobe,

If she tells fortunes with a deck of fallen leaves
Until it comes out right--

Rouged nipple, mouth--

(How could you not love a woman
Who cheats at the Tarot?)

Red, I said. Sudden, red.


Shane said...

I made some hot sauce from his cherry peppers last night, using this recipe, but substituting smoked paprika for the smoked salt: AWESOME.

Casie Fedukovich said...

I love Haas. Probably in my top 3 poets ever.

And I was in AmeriCorps, so I love seeing ACers getting in on local action.

Have you thought about selling and shipping your canned stuff, or is the footprint too big? Do you sell at Farmer's Markets? You have such a talent.