Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Little Thyme

The garden is a different place than it was just one week ago.  A series of hard frosts have turned most of the green to brown.  But yesterday I found a little thyme — still green, still flowering — tucked into a protected corner by the back door.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014

What was left . . .

. . . after we pulled out a year's growth in two garden beds and planted 204 cloves of garlic this afternoon.

I gather these odds and ends, carry them inside, and treat them like treasures.  I cherish these final gifts from the season of light.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Just a Walk

Amabel and I went out for a walk this morning.

She and I had a tradition of walking daily with Harry when he was a puppy.  It was part of our training routine, and I think she grew to love those walks as much as I did.  But we fell out of habit over the past summer.  And I've been missing that time outside with my girl.

It's just a walk.  But a walk can frame a whole day.

Going away from home and returning—on foot—grounds me in the place I love.

This morning, we ended up in the garden. 

Picking flowers and blackberries, admiring the colors of this beautiful season.

So grateful for home.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Little Mid-August Update

I can't bring myself to say "late August."  We're still in mid-August, as far as I'm concerned . . . and the garden has been growing!  Some plants love this cooler summer (brassicas, greens, herbs, many flowers).  But the peppers and tomatoes have been slow to ripen   We have yet to eat a tomato out of our garden this summer.  The vines are loaded with green fruit, and my mouth waters every time I think about making the first batch of fresh salsa.

We have more calendula than ever before.  And some very beautiful carrots (thanks to the broadfork, perhaps?).  

However, we have pulled up carrots (and other root veggies) with worm damage.  Jeffrey ordered beneficial nematodes recently to see if they might help out with the roots in our fall garden.  We've never used them before, so it will be interesting to see if we notice a difference.  And do the good little bugs stick around from year to year?  I need to do a little more research.

Cosmos are taking over our pathways and have turned the garden into a bit of a jungle.

Borage is blooming in among the tomato plants (where I planted it to help keep tomato worms away).  But, alas, look what we discovered today!

He was such a gross, gnarly dude that even the chickens wouldn't eat him!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

We Harvest Garlic

Every fall we plant garlic.  Nine months later we harvest our crop—a little more each year—and I marvel.  I marvel at the passing of the seasons and our abiding love for growing things together.

Garlic is sort of where it all started for me—my love for farming.  In the fall of 2001, I had an internship in college with a quirky old organic farmer in southern Illinois.  My first job was sorting, "cracking," and planting garlic.

I remember so clearly how it smelled in the barn.  How much I loved sitting in there, alone, sorting the bulbs and sorting my thoughts.  I also remember reading Stanley Crawford's book A Garlic Testament, as I was falling in love with garlic.  And as I was falling in love with garlic, I was falling in love with farming.  

I had already fallen in love with Jeffrey.  I wrote him letters then—about the farm, the garlic, and what it felt like to figure out what was most important to me.  All those classes; all those books; all those papers; and where I made sense of it all was outside on the farm, with my hands in the soil.

Our love has grown up since then, but how grateful I am that after all those wonderful years we love to plant and harvest garlic together.  

Monday, July 7, 2014

My Favorite Place

My favorite place, right now, is here.  In the garden.

During a difficult couple of weeks, the gifts of the garden have buoyed us and reminded us what we have here.

So much beauty.  Abundance.  Nourishment.  Life.

". . . the life we want is not merely the one we have chosen and made; it is the one we must be choosing and making.  To keep it alive we must be perpetually choosing it and making its differences from among all contrary and alternative possibilities . . . " 

— Wendell Berry, A Continuous Harmony