Tuesday, June 30, 2015

'Tis a Gift to Bee...

Honey Bee in Crown Pumpkin Flower
The honey bees are surprisingly scarce in my garden this year.  Scarcer than I like, half as many as last year. And I revisit the idea of keeping bees here.  Surely I could find a good location for them: facing east to get morning sun, sheltered from the winds, high enough up not to get eaten by the numerous skunks in the neighborhood, away from the property line with the neighbor who persists in spraying pesticides... and as I wonder where I can safely keep honey bees, I understand why there are so few in the garden. Where can they safely keep themselves? These beneficial insects, where can they live?

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Moment We Are In

It is a dance the birds and I do.  Who can get to the ripe raspberries first in the mornings. Who can pick the most. Who will know first when they are ripe again in the afternoon. They lead, waking with the dawn, and I follow. Still sleepy from the warmth of my bed.  The first berry sharp in my mouth, then sweet. Like bird song mellowing as I enter the day. As I allow myself the luxury of being here, in this one moment, fully. 

There is an immediacy to this luxury of mine, my breakfast is in front of me. Small red and black druplets, flavor, nutrition, freshness, just by reaching out my hand. There is a dependency too. An awareness that my food comes from the soil, comes from the sweat of my brow.  The work I do and the blessing of Providence tangibly providing sustenance for me each day.
Ronde de Nice Squash and Garlics will make a delicious lunch.
The raspberries provided breakfast while I picked, those in the colander will get put up for winter.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Simon Says: It's Wet

Rain, Simon says, is such a crazy idea. I don't like it. Too much like taking a bath and now I am dripping on your floors. Why do you keep allowing this to happen? 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Producing Produce

Spring doesn't really provide much of a harvest. The garden is still getting the feel of things.  Thinking about what it will do later.  It is only once we have passed the vernal equinox that the garden begins to yield it's summer bounty. Not overwhelming yet, but there are signs of the abundance coming. Growing every day.

The raspberries are ripe again in a few hours. The summer sun turning them ripe quickly now. I just picked a bowl this morning and really ought to put these in the freezer too. Instead I wander through the garden picking warm ripe berries and putting them straight in my mouth "spoiling my dinner" and "grazing" like when I was a child. 

And again today I picked a batch of basil. Other than the basil we have not got ingredients for pesto in the kitchen right now. So I improvised. No point in going to the store just for that.
Stay-at-Home Sort-of-Pesto

Take a couple handfuls of of fresh basil and a smaller handful of English walnuts, and simmer in a saucepan with a little water (just enough to cover the nuts) and a bit of olive oil. Go until the walnuts are soft.  
Once the walnuts are soft turn off the heat and add the rest of the basil, another couple handfuls still "raw." Don't drain the water, unless you used more than I did, just puree it all together with an immersion (hand held) blender. When you think it's done blending add a dash of salt and give it another swirl to be sure. 
Combine with some leftover spaghetti noodles and some shredded mozzarella (which is all the cheese we had left in the house, but you just have to put cheese in pesto and it did work). 
Plate up and serve still warm.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Make It Do or Do Without It

"Make it do or do without it, these are the lessons that our old folks learned..." The old song reminds me. The hard life. The good old days. We forget their lessons. Frugality. Patience. Creativity. More frugality. The long hours working a little at a time, building grain of sand upon grain of sand... That built character but gave you little else to show for it, you think. Until you look back and see it takes each and every grain of sand to make the shoreline.

Oh! We are so forgetful and so fortunate at the same time. We neither reap nor sow. We toil not. We haven't got the time for that.

We think "Make it work." is just something Tim Gunn says to fashion designers. We don't look around our lives and make it work with what we have already. Well, most days we don't. We don't have to.

We skip the coffee in the cupboard and go to Starbucks. We ignore the bookshelf and complain there is "nothing" on t.v. We don't mend, we buy new. Everything is replaceable. Everything is disposable. Even people. Even planets.

Yes, we say we want to save the world. But we want to do it in some big grand way. Something showy and attention grabbing and easy, one magnificent huge gesture we can make once and be done.  The little things are anti-climatic.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Squash Blossoms

Ronde de Nice Zucchini after blossoming

Buttercup Winter Squash ready to bloom

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Simon Says: Blog

It is time, Simon says, to begin blogging again.
I think I have forgotten how. I tell him.
You will remember.
But what will I say? How will I explain three years of silence? I ask him.
There is a season, Simon says, and a time to every purpose under heaven. There was a time to be silent, now it is time to speak again. To blog again.

I go out to the garden. Procrastinating. My colander becomes heavy with raspberries and words I am not writing. June sunlight is drowsy across my shoulders. A storm is waiting to water the earth. The afternoon fades to mosquitoes. Mosquitoes give way to fireflies, fireflies fade to pre-dawn songbirds. And the rain comes down to water the earth. My garden grows. I grow. It is quiet here.

It is time, Simon says.
What if I can't do it?  What if people realize I don't have it all together? What if I make mistakes?
He looks at me with that familiar expression. Did you really think anyone thought you had it all together? It will be okay. And it is time.

So I begin.
It is also time, Simon says, to scratch the dog's ears.