Our summer garden limped along this year, started late and plagued by under-watering (I couldn’t stem my drought fears, not even for veggies, and as we drift into fall our tomato plants are as dry and golden as our once-green lawn). Our exposure on the veggie boxes is not ideal, and our small gardeners prefer digging and whacking over, say, weeding and pruning. We managed to harvest red and gold and the occasional green tomato, chiles galore, huge handfuls of basil and thyme and cilantro, even a solitary yellow squash. Nothing like the careless, constant overproduction of our garden-from-before, but still something. We got our hands dirty, we watched things grow, we understood first-hand the crumbly, deep dryness of the drought. Continue reading
If you look closely at the two pictures, you can see our sweet boy. In the first, there is a foot – barely – under the chair on the right. In the second, a flash of blonde and his airplane-blue pajamas, over near the window. Our walls are still covered in forgotten train schedules, Lego people rest abandoned on bookshelves, and he remains “a blur of color!”, as he shouted triumphantly all summer long, on each race through the house. But now he is racing through mornings at kindergarten, because as Catherine Newman beautifully put it, they leave us in increments. Continue reading
Oh, August. Already. And how?
Three years in on canning and jam, we have officially declared a tradition: Ann started a file. Now we will look back and remember, year over year. What we processed, what our yields were. Remember, too, the people and the stories that swirl around and through the steam in the canning kitchen. Continue reading
The day before the solstice, we went to the beach. We were sweatshirted up, expecting June Gloom, but there was not a cloud in sight when we pulled into the parking lot. The Pacific was sparkling green-blue over gray, celebrating the sun with us. We peeled off the layers, and the kids raced on the sand, and our hands were sticky with peach juice and it felt like summer was starting. Continue reading
With the springtime falling of rain, our yard washed over with dandelions. As each came into its own puffy fluffy fullness, Lucas would find it. Each newly-found dandelion was a discovery, a delight, a cause for celebration. And after each celebration there was a pause, while he considered to what use he should put this particular wish. Then his lips would pucker like a kiss, and with a whoosh the seeds would sail into the air, off on their own adventures and (I suspect) eventually coming back round to our own weed-riddled grass, to sprout and to grow and to flower again. Continue reading
The boys have been intent on reminding me this week that THOSE ARE NOT WEEDS! They are FLOWERS! Their insistence comes after I went on a bit of a rampage clearing out a flower bed and into the green bin went a heap of their beloved sour grass. But they are not alone in their enthusiasm; at our market this past Saturday I met a farmer whose entire acreage is given over to what grows there of its own volition. She had strawberries for sale, tiny red ones. In big buckets were curvy-stemmed, three-foot-tall gaggles of weeds. Or flowers, if you’d like. With thoughts of my guys, I brought home a bunch. Continue reading