these summer days

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These days the bounty of the garden is unstoppable.

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It cannot be quenched, even by the squirrels and rabbits and rats.

In SoCal we traded fertile soil, rain, and drainage problems, for a long growing season and a hot spring.

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The fava beans are so heavy burdened with fruit they collapse to the ground, too exhausted to hold their heads up a second longer.

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The squash tiptoe on the edge, ready to jump

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My snapdragons, salvia, zinnias, and yarrow have started blooming.  Maybe there will even be some bouquet-making for boxes this Thursday.  Oh yes.

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The potatoes are flowering, which means below the surface are new spring potatoes.  Two weeks ago I couldn’t help myself and dug until I found a token potato.  It was only the size of a marble.  I carried it around in my pocket.

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Last Thursday my sister Anna and I dug up these new potatoes for boxes, now large enough to eat. Their sugars haven’t converted to starches yet, making them extra sweet. There is nothing more exciting than digging for new potatoes.  Although, watching chicks hatch, that’s pretty incredible too.

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We harvested soft neck garlic last week and it is curing and drying in a secret place, away from the rodents.  The hard neck garlic will soon follow.

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Our weeds are doing great too.

My brother Andrew arrived for the summer.  We are teaching him about farming and helping with cash for college, while he is helping us weed and maintain our sanity.  He’s learning to like turnip greens and is already an experienced rattler killer (and skinner!).  I’m loving the impact he’s already having on our to-do list and as always, it is wonderful to have family around.  Maybe we can take a night off and see our friends again.

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We shared our first cucumber at the dinner table.  Andrew said it tasted “fresh.”

Our first two weeks of boxes went out.  We were feeling anxious about the size- the weather in the spring is always unpredictable and we are still learning our soil (we think it’s bad with some major nutrient deficiencies) and tracking rodent patterns.  We are thankful this year for what was for us a strong start, and relieved to get the first two behind us.

I put up my first batch of jam with the help of my sister.  There are 5 plum trees (3 of them cherry plums) on the property so my traditional strawberry was replaced.  We were delighted to find that it had a bright, tangy flavor.

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These days, it looks like summer is here.

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10 comments

  1. I can almost smell the dirt, feel the heat, taste the freshness, hear the laughter and deep conversations. Thanks for sharing your farm life with us!

  2. Beautiful pictures and poetic words. You capture the hard-ness of it all, but the beauty in it too! Wish I was still there. Why did I not stay another week, again?

  3. I’d appreciate the fresh flower bouquet if I was getting a box! Love fresh flowers on my dining table. I have the Indy Farmer’s Market for that, though. 🙂 Wow, Rachel, the photos are great and I, too, like the poetic descriptions. So proud of you, girl!

    • ~Gwen, I bet the Indy FM is a good one. I remember your love for a fresh bouquet while living with you! Flowers really do transform a day and a room. Thanks for your kind words…I’m still learning how to use my camera!


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