The Great Harvest

Picture 3528Now is when the vegetable harvest floods the kitchen. Buckets, baskets, and wooden crates filled to the brim with tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and more. Let’s not even mention the cucumbers. Or the squash…. you know how that goes. We’ve been trying to harvest all the squash before it grows to its potential baseball bat length. This can happen overnight, as you know. ‘Sunburst’ patty pan squash grow like berries on a bush, you pick them one day and the next there are just as many. Our favorite way to prepare these cute little Cucurbita are to first throw them into a pot of boiling water, cook until just tender, then take them out to drain and dry off a bit. Then scoop out a small hole on the top side of the squash, discard seeds if you want to, and fill the hole with something yummy….like a bit of the roasted tomatoes, garlic, red pepper, and eggplant that’s been in the oven all morning. Top this with a little goat cheese ( we like Appleton Creamery’s ‘Chipotle lime’) and put under the broiler for a minute. A great little presentation, I must say.
Hope everyone’s gardens are doing well despite the lack of water ( here in the North East). Happy harvest to all!Picture 3533

The Story Of Late Summer

I am in the kitchen: through the window, the long grasses run before the wind, and on the table are mounds of greenbeans. Water is boiling on the stove; steam makes the lids dance and rattle. My knife flashes, chops, and my hands follow each other fluidly through familiar choreography. In the garden, the onion tops have collapsed in a soft tangle. It seems only yesterday that I planted the tiny sets. There is a peculiar satisfaction in the swiftness with which I pluck the onions from the soil and lay them in the golden ranks to cure. Twist and pull the corn ears, tuck them under my arm. Shuck them in the garden and throw the husks to the horses.
As the light becomes lower and richer, I feel a gathering sense of fulfillment and loss.
It happens too fast. Yet in this speed, this urgency that inhibits reflection, in the busy-ness of living, in the demands of vegetable growing, I am absorbed by the life of this particuler soil, this particular air, and this particular light. I become a thread in tha tapestry of summer, even as I am torn by the desire to stand aside, the need to arrest this tumbling beauty, to hold it in my hands.

Some fine words to share by Beth Powning. Isn’t it wonderful when we find words that can so eloquently and thoughtfully express a time in our life, can capture moments with just the right feeling and emotion. Summer and her great bounty is exactly what’s happening now. It’s a flurry, and the pace of the days and the swiftness of how quickly it all happens stuns us. We , who are always so busy this time of year, managing the nursery and growing our food, are acutely aware of how fleeting summer is. One more swim at the lake? Another picnic up on the ridge? Another paddle across the pond, please? We’ll do our best to make time for a few of these idyllic summer pleasures. We will be glad we did, come February. Just as we will be grateful for that rich tomatoe taste from the canned jars that line the pantry shelves. A bit of summer captured in a jar.


Picture 1164If you ever want to grow just one type of vegetable that will make you feel like the best gardener in the world, give you the feeling of endless bounty, and keep you harvesting baskets full of summer goodness on a daily basis……grow greenbeans. We pick them, being sure to collect every bean that is close to edible size, and still they grow overnight and need to be picked again the very next day. We prepared 10 pounds of beans for the freezer today, and enjoyed an ample serving of them for dinner as well. Tomorrow we are expecting rain, and this means no picking……..I can only imagine what will await us in the bean patch the following day. Oh my.