a wreath is a reminder


In all reality this has been my first real vegetable garden.  I have had little corners of tiny apartments with a tomato plant or two, a window full of herbs, and even a chunk of a community garden, but nothing like this freedom.  Nothing like the surprise, excitement, and true admiration of having the chance to grow my very own food.  The season is closing in now, with only one week left of our neighbors CSA, (I believe I will shed real actual tears on the last pick up), and only a few things left to tend within the walls of my very, very loved vegetable garden.  Butternut squash are turning tan, the pumpkins that havent been stabbed by a few certain little boys are perfectly orange, and the kuri squash is scattered with such a bright autumn color it hardly feels like it could come from nature.  I am contemplating a cold frame over my lettuce and spinach as they are almost eating size and I’d love to stretch it out a bit if I can.  The Jerusalem Artichokes are full with buds, just days away from blooming and then harvesting.  And in the cutting bed, my straw flowers, Calendula, Amaranthus, cockscomb, and globe Amaranthus are all still popping up daily giving me lots to bring in and dry.


But, the truth is on the 24th of July until now I have essentially let the garden go wild.  I have harvested what I could, I have hollered to the boys to eat whatever they felt like, “Fill your bellies! Satisfy your curiosity of what grows beneath the ground!” I chanted.  I canned nothing, and froze little.  But at the same time nothing was wasted.  Lots of greens were consumed but lots and lots of (unwanted) greens grew amongst my once carefully tended seedlings.

Jasper is now two months old and with a tiny (ever so tiny) touch of sleep each night, I feel a surge of creativity once again.  It is a scratch that I truly can’t itch at the moment, but it seems in between moments of crazy chaos I am finding just the smallest amounts of time to make and feeling pretty good about it.   Of all the drying herbs and flowers strung around my kitchen and halls the most represented scent has been the tiny sachets of sage.  They were gathered a bundle at a time starting this spring, leading up to just yesterday too.  And with a recent gift of the most gorgeous lavender from a lovely, dear friend I found a place to satisfy my restless hands.

This little wreath took less than 30 minutes to finish.  It was simple and free and a reminder to me that the time will come again.  The time where all three of my boys are out playing king of the world atop of the woodpile, where all three can wiggle their toes into their own shoes and fit their spindly arms into wool sweaters without trouble, and I do indeed have time to put up that food, or knit that sweater, or clean that floor.  But for now, this wreath will do.


I think I have been accomplishing the balance I sought out to achieve when welcoming this third little soul into our lives.  I hoped for the power to be still and to be okay with it.  Each time I am bound to my chair with a nursling on my lap and more often than not, a little boy or two by my side, my eyes mechanically, instinctually search everywhere in my periphery taking mental note of all that “needs” to be done.  When I am so lucky to catch myself in the act, I try to slow my breathing, I try to think of nothing but the touch of these three sweet things I have right now.  Right at this very moment.  I clear the thoughts out like dust under a rug and I let go.



tiny food

Brocoli greens, baby kale, lettuces, scallions, and the occasional radish thrown in for good measure; That is what I am taking out of the garden right now.  While I am surely reminded every Wednesday afternoon when picking up my CSA share what an amateur I am, my garden still looks big and full and lively to me.  This is what I dreamed of those early days in May when we tilled the land and charted out our agenda.  And if all goes well our baskets will be filling with more produce in the near future.  I decided I had enough of hilling potatoes, I am just far too big and tired and hot and clumsy for all that shoveling, and am going to pile it with some hay sometime this week.  But otherwise things are looking up!

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The perennial beds are stunning these days too.  Overgrown and out of control though they are, there is proof in their abundance with the constant supply of color in every corner of our house.  But thanks to those same visitors mentioned above, I have a very, very good feeling there will lots of welcomed assitance and guidance in the arrangement of said beds over the next few days.  I am starting the drying process of what I can gather up.  Yarrow and bee balm and whatever else weaves its way out of this jungle is being strung and dried.  I need to clear a spot in the basement that will keep them crisp and colorful until the job is done. I’d like to savor some of this beauty in the stark days of winter.

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It is a breezy, beautiful day.  I am so excited for it!  We have some of our favorite visitors arriving this afternoon, and my dear, dear friend is welcoming her sweet baby into this world this morning…  It will be odd to be pregnant without her!  With my knitting hands in full force, an eerily clean house, and the sunshine on my cheeks nothing can get in my way.  Today will be grand.