Tag: gardening

Abundance and Foresight

Abundance and Foresight

Bringing in the onion harvest.

The weather here in my little Mid-Coast Maine neck of the woods has been ping ponging from one extreme to another.  Friday was a beautiful balmy 70 and we celebrated our final sunset on the water for the season.  Saturday we had our first frost.  Sunday was largely devoted to bringing anything left to harvest in from the garden.  Save the cold loving ones, of course.  Torrential rains this week sped up some of our garden chore timelines even further.  What I love about the life we have created here is that there is no work week clock.  Everything is fluid.  My schedule revolves around the weather, the tides, light and dark, and client needs, of course.  Emails are answered in the wee hours of the morning before light breaks these days.  Foraging overlaps with walking the dogs (to their chagrin sometimes), “making” happens while something is baking, stewing, canning, fermenting–which is almost all the time— and gardening ebbs and flows around (and sometimes floods) the rest.  If there is such a thing as balance, I think we have found it.  And we know how fortunate we are in that.

Since we moved to Maine I’ve been learning so much about the land we’re on and what it has to give and what we can give to it in return.  I frequently feel overwhelmed by the abundance around us—from the garden, from the wooded trails, along the shore.  And next week our state is voting on adding  a person’s Right to Food to our state constitution.  I believe we are the first state in the country to do this.  I am both proud of this and sorry that such action is needed.  But I appreciate the foresight.  And the thoughtfulness, the bipartisanship, and the time and the effort put into bringing this to the vote of our community.

And then It Was Done

And then It Was Done

Garlands of peppers hang next drying herbs and hooked rugs.Here in my spot of Maine a switch has been pulled.  Summer tomato salads have given way to a pot of simmering lamb stew(with tomatoes).  Morning strolls to the garden are no longer barefeet and tank tops, but oversized sweaters and thick slippers.  Rest assured, no matter the season, there is always a steaming cup of coffee involved.   Almost to my horror at this point–not really, but really—the tomatoes keep coming, despite the blighted state of their affairs.  I’ve frozen, canned, jammed, and sauced them in every way I can think of.  The summer squashes are rife with powdery mildew even though we’ve had only scant rain and the garden well has run dry.  Even still, they keep fruiting.  There’s a basket of garlic in my studio that rivals my baskets of wools.  There’s a tsunami of hot peppers coming in that my husband dutifully strings to dry, even though he is a little scared of them.  But my studio feels festive and decorated for celebration with vegetal garlands hanging from my display rails along with drying herbs, my finished rugs and freshly dyed skeins of wool.

My garden always gives me solace.  Maybe more so this year than usual, but in equal measure to my work—which has taken wild turns into unexpected territories.  There is more to muse over on that topic, but for the moment I’m going to enjoy my hooking and the burbling of stew on the stove.

I hope you are all well in these tumultuous times.  Not only are my thoughts with you, so are my actions.

Be well,

Jess

An enormous basket of garlic holds reign in my studio along with baskets of wool.

Must Love Kale

Must Love Kale

I kid you not.  We are something of kale junkies around here.  Veggie junkies, really, but we have our soft spots.  I haven’t had a garden for a few years now, but we are starting to feel settled in our new digs and decided to literally put down roots.  I have never attempted kale before, but took the plunge this year.  After a tiring but hugely successful weekend as vendors at The Vintage Bazaar of New England this past weekend, I’m now ensconced in Home.  A glass of wine, dogs at my feet, hubby contentedly sipping his cocktail while the thunder softly rumbles and the rain comes down.  Earlier today I tended to the garden that was abandoned over the weekend.  When you are doing an outdoor show, you pray for sunny and dry.  My garden was definitely dry.  But it made weeding easier and the generous soaking we are getting now is refreshing everything.  Two armfuls of kale were harvested.  I’m investigating kale recipes with a focus on slaws.  It is all remarkably wonderful.