Some Summer, At Last!

It’s been over a month since our last post.  The annual Midwest Renewable Energy Fair has come and gone once again.  The wet, weird weather we’ve had since spring continued and was quite a damper on that event.  The frequent trend toward rain and cold only let up a few days ago and we’ve finally had a string of glorious days of calm and sun, enough to feel lulled into complacency.

But despite the urge to lollygag about, there remain many early summer tasks to be done .  Even though the garden is lagging a bit behind schedule, we have managed to harvest delectable meals and enough extra to start restocking the pantry, although some meals are still coming, in part, from the root cellar and other stored foods.  We picked the first ripe tomato today, later than the summer solstice that we were aiming for but pretty early considering the year.  So far the pantry is blessed with new additions of dried walking onions, nettles, oregano, rhubarb, apple and chocolate mint, and lots of strawberries as sauce, juice, and dried.  Drying the food with sun has been extra challenging this year but not impossible, although we did fire up the wood stove in the sauna early on, a good excuse to warm up our tired muscles and cook lots of dishes as well as dry a small bit of food.

Now our focus has been on getting caught up on mowing – garden paths, orchard, over-grown sheep pasture, trails, and lastly our micro lawn.  We’ve even found a bit of time to play the accordions, read, and (for Larisa) crochet.  Soon high summer will flood the kitchen with more bountiful harvests.  The last potted lettuce was picked today, making room in the screened porch which was cleaned up and readied for the fall harvest of legumes, sorghum seed heads, amaranth heads, garden seeds, and flint corn.  During this brief down-time and long days, we’ve also been at work on next year’s garden plan – rotations, changes, renovating perennial beds, and some ideas for a landscaping makeover by the house.  All of these pursuits have been made sweeter by the wacky spring season and are being savored at their fullest before the heat of summer arrives with a vengeance.

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