whats growing on?

With the burst of serious growth in the land around us, I have noticed that in my mumbling of plants I recognize, and constant looking up of those I don’t some little ears have been perking up and cueing in.  These little botanists have picked up more than I can recall sometimes!  We did a little scavenger hunt yesterday after a really ugly and long morning.  (I truly hate those type of mornings, but in the future I am promising myself I will stick my toes in the cold stream a little earlier… perhaps that will cool us all down a bit quicker.)  The boys found and checked off wild columbine, strawberry flowers, st. johns wort, spiderwort, a few types of ferns, and some stray jack in the pulpit fading quick in the warmer weather.  It was quite fun with lots of distractions along the way starting the day again on the right foot again.

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A peek through our back yard into the neighbors farm during the hunt, (our CSA purchase for the year too.. in case my efforts in the garden are a little off) and we were filled with wonder of what they are growing.  A lot of their crops are under the sheer white fabric that protects from insects and deer so well, keeping our suspense high.  We wandered over, careful to check for ticks periodically, and peeked under a few of the cylindrical tents to see what we could see.  Sweet peas, corn, brussels, squash, and pretty much everything you can imagine was already giant-sized, putting my little seedlings to shame.  But alas, they are professionals and I will not let that discourage me one bit!  It was quite good timing to get so curious anyhow for my cravings for fresh greens had turned into somewhat of an obsession.  The maple leaves and long blades of grass have even become so appealing they cause me to salivate on dewy warm mornings.  I was beginning to wonder if I had the deficiency causing pregnant women to crave dirt!  But luckily my want stopped at the green stuff, and as even more luck would have it, I got an email that I could pick up my first CSA share!  Oh pounds and pounds of greens were carted home in our little red wagon, and a whole pound between the four of us was devoured!  Seconds were had by even the little ones among us!  It felt wonderful to have a table full of food grown by either us or our neighbors.  Milk and eggs, spinach and mesclun lettuce.  What could be better on a late spring evening… Not much.

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As for my own garden, things are coming along!  Though my fear of nothing growing at all still reigns true, I am seeing some serious growth over the last few warm, wet nights.  Carrots have sprouted and are being thinned little bits a time, radishes and second batches of radishes are growing tall, potatoes are popping up and Jerusalem artichokes too, all the lettuce, peas, spinach, and onions are settling in quite nicely; Polka dotting my garden with green slivers that make me impossibly giddy.  My close observation of the soil, (some may say over the top obsessing) waiting for seedlings to emerge has come to an end.  Now the picking off of beetles and weeding will commence.  I placed some of that magical white fabric over the top of my squash in hopes that little yellow striped beetles will stay away… and so far it seems to be working!  I was informed, by the experts across the street, that those beetles really like a new plant, but will stay away from my grown squash a bit more, so not to worry.  Whew.

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Have I mentioned how proud I am of this almost complete fence my friendly husband made?  It is a sight to behold and now complete with a gate so the crazy chickens and dog and cats will keep out.

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I feel like a true gardener when I take my walk through the mulched path several times a day.  It is a passion we have all gotten involved in and that is my most favorite part!  Anything good growing in your neck of the woods?

a long strange trip

Of all the troubles that go with moving, with children, with pets, with stuff, it seems I have been able to skirt around many of them.  Only because of family.  Only because of the kind of love that goes without convenience.  Certainly it isn’t convenient to have two nutty little boys and their mama (who may or may not be needy as well) staying at your house while it is under construction and you have only one bathroom and no washing machine.  Certainly it isn’t the easiest thing in the world to have a whole slew of people stay at your house when it is planting season and everyone everyone likes to have  their garden planted by memorial day (at least that is what I am told).  A driveway full of flats of flowers, to the point where the delivery man asks if this is a nursery.  A busy week for all.  But no problem, we are a family.  That is what they do.

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It can’t be easy to be the one who has to drive 18 hours once with two loud children just to turn around and do it with two cats, a dog, a batch of beer, and a batch of kambucha.  Clean the old place in a frenzy, try to set up the new one with gusto.  Study at all hours of the night for a new semester has begun and all the same start a very new, very exciting, brand new job in a town where you know not a soul.  No, this can not be easy.  But, my man does it with grace.  I am have much to learn from these beautiful people I am so lucky to have as mine.

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And most of all it cant be easy to be uprooted from all you know, all you can remember.  See your belongings in boxes, scattered about every room, stepping over things for days.  Dealing with a mama trying (oh so hard) to keep her cool amidst the chaos.  These two remind me to stay on course.  This is fun.  This is an adventure.  This whole entire thing.

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It is exhausting I am sure.

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And I have run out of time.  For now.  There is too much madness, to much stuff behind me of which I intend to ignore, and in front of me I see precisely what is in store for us.  

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Oh yes.  This is our backyard.  An adventure it is.

roasted cabbage and a book review: An Everlasting Meal

I just harvested this cabbage

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sliced it into wedges, placed it in a cast iron pot with salt, olive oil and a red wine vinegar.  I put the cover on it and roasted it for 30 minutes until golden brown without and tender within.  Just like Tamar Adler told me to.

It was delicious.

Read An Everlasting Meal.  Trust me.  It is important.  I almost didn’t want to publicly announce it for the secrets and the advice in this -more than a cookbook/novel, but a way of eating and enjoying life- are so great that I wanted to keep them all for myself.  But that is silly and selfish and well, I know that this book has brought me so much happiness, and it would be wrong to do anything but pass that on to you.  Each night when reading it, I would be left salivating, inspired and downright hungry by the time my eyelids got heavy.  Each chapter is centered around a specific grouping of food.  She talks about an egg or a roast or a legume with such passion and poetry you suddenly remember how beautiful a thing it is to be able to prepare a simple meal.  And how enjoyable such a simple meal can be.  There are rarely fancy expensive ingredients mentioned, she focuses more on local seasonal affordable eating.  She is realistic and relatable, and she has a way of making you yearn for sardines in a way you will never believe.  So purchase it, savor it, place it among your cookbooks and refer back to it often.

everyday is good

 

I cannot say with certainty what it is about this tiny state that I hold so dear in my heart.  It is likely the memories; The nostalgic feeling I get.  It is possible it’s the family and friends I hold so dear; My people.  There is chance that it is the sights and smells; The glorious deep blue sea.  And of course it is on the whole everything.  Every. Single. Thing. About being here sings home and love and fun.  Just plain old fun.

The garden… which doesn’t even begin to display the beauty my mama manages to transform (the already spectacular grass into) year after year

 

bubble stomping…

Friends and family and picnics oh my… 

(notice the gait…)

 

All without even leaving the rock.