Mountains in summer

Rustle with bold confidence

Men heading off to work

Suddenly … it feels as if our backs were turned for just a moment … anticipation of a season of growth turned into a time of abundant harvest.  Of course our backs weren’t turned! They were bent behind a market bed, a wheelbarrow, a hammer or a shovel … happily.

So here we are and it is September. The garlic, onions and potatoes have all been harvested and are being cured in the greenhouse. Summer squash is about finished, but plenty of that is stored away and still, there is a grand pile of them in the dining room. Winter squash is making a weak appearance because the deer have discovered the abundance in our field as well. Previous years left our gardens virtually untouched. But no more! And tomatoes! This is the year for tomatoes. We’ve been picking them by the handful.  Bags of them are in our freezer along with delicious string beans. We’ve also been sun-drying and oven drying them to store in jars (in oil with garlic) in the refrigerator. The okra hasn’t been tried yet, but they are fascinating plants. Related to the hibiscus, they have beautiful flowers. Celeriac and parsnips are still in the ground, along with sugar beets. Well, I worried about this moment with the sugar beets … will they actually make their way into sugar? But they are huge and their leaves have been tasty.  Our new apple picker is being employed to fill a barrel of apples and I need to catch up on the herb drying and then we will be set for the winter.

Our little chickens grew into big chickens and we have been slow to create housing. The ducks are finally considering going near to the pond. Who ever heard of ducks that were afraid of water? The new chickens are beginning to lay eggs, but the ducks are just busy eating.

The house is progressing and the backfill is in place. We are figuring out (painstakingly) how to do the stucco on the outside of the house. Thanks to Ed’s diligent research, we think we might have a handle on it now.

The periods of intense heat were a challenge this summer, both to the plants and the people, but we made it and it is now time to start filling the greenhouse again! It was also a summer of family and friends! We were blessed with visits from folks we haven’t seen in a long time, visits from family who haven’t been here before and perhaps the centerpiece of the summer … a wedding! Marjorie and Eric tied the knot at a beautiful ceremony in the woods of Virginia (Tarara Winery) and friends and family came from all four corners of the country to share in the festivities. I feel like Marj and Eric were honored by their visitors from far away with the power of the four directions.