Wednesday, August 31, 2011

making right



Whether or not this apple tree will grab ahold again is yet to be seen but I thought I'd give it a shot. A few others were leaning rather precariously as well but considering the overall devastation hereabouts we were essentially unscathed so no griping from me. Well, at least for a day or two..






Tuesday, August 30, 2011

gratitude, tough Vermonters or....





videowhat did they do in the olden days? Things are a bit of a mess in my state at the moment with lots of work and frustration ahead for sure. Since I am writing this it's obvious we were among the lucky ones with power restored. Sheesh, "My name is Randi and I'm an electricity-aholic. Hi Randi." This awareness is acute when one is deprived of one's (almost) favorite addiction for a couple days. The focus is sharp and the woodstove gets fired up to start heating water. Outside the chainsaw symphonies begin. Around here many of us can't actually see our neighbors but we can hear them. Some have generators and that's an annoying or reassuring sound dependent upon your point of view. I spent my first decades reading nothing but fiction, (and am not sorry for it in the least), but over the last many years have devoted myself almost entirely to non fiction. However I allow myself a bit of indulgence in August and so this morning I read from one the used paperbacks grabbed from the 25cent shelf...."You can heave your spirit into a mountain and the mountain will keep it, folded, and not throw it back as some creeks will. The creeks are the world with all it's stimulus and beauty; I live there. But the mountains are home." Annie Dillard



Enough, enough..back to work.






Monday, August 15, 2011

Applesauce & Rain

We seem to apply the old lemons/lemonade adage when it comes to these soft apples that fall early and often. I have no idea what variety they are but they've been found useful for a pretty decent applesauce. I rake them up and look for the least bashed up among them. I've discovered they bruise if you even look at them. They are not huge so it's a bit of fussy work and I must admit that the cinnamon and nutmeg do alot of the heavy lifting in the flavor department but hey, yum, especially around January. (Er, is that a giant pile of wood to stack in the background?..oh Hell.)






Blueberries still to pick.

Amaranth points accusing finger.











Cute little Sekel pear. Tiny and generally neglected but tasty when or if the time comes.



Ha, growing grapes in Vermont, don't get me started. But these announce 'maybe, if there is no hard frost in September'. We'll see.




















Growing in amongst the micro squashes. Again, squash and cukes..not so great this year.












Freeze flat on cookie sheet. Defrost. Eat.


I know folks jar applesauce but I'm reserving my canning strength for the mythic tomatoes that threaten to ripen.













Thursday, August 4, 2011

weeder women



Jeez, I don't know, maybe fifteen years ago I went to a lecture to hear Christopher Lloyd speak on garden design. He's an English garden writer/designer/overall witty guy. Or was anyway, I think he took his leave of this earth-y paradise a few years back. Now imagine, if you will, that the very lovely marbled art museum where he gave his chat was filled with, well, people who liked to look at and discuss gardening but actually did very little of it. I think I was one of the few slobs there who actually laboured in the fields so to speak. So when Mr. Lloyd made reference to his 'weeder women', (those who did the actual grubbing about on his gardens/estate/whatever), there arose quite the amused titter from the audience. I've never forgotten that and I often remember the gut check I gave myself that night. Because I was/am a weeder woman. And here's the kicker: I LIKE WEEDING. Let me tell you why. I'm kind of, in real life, well not exactly hyper but easily roused and always jazzed up about the endless and growing mountains of depressing shit that take place on this planet daily. Unchecked I would rant myself and any innocent bystander to death. Anyhoo I discovered many moons ago that weeding is my meditation. It calms me/changes my brainwaves/mellows me out and,( icing on the cake and unlike endless 'OM-ing'), accomplished something at the same time. That bit appeals to my Yankee utilitarianism. I guess the only time I get cheesed off about weeding is when all that other stuff interferes and I fall terribly behind. Maybe I ought to get a bumper sticker that says 'I'd rather be weeding'. In a nutshell I've designated August to be weeding month. Couple the weeding with what I cut back and the piles get respectable. Oh yeah.