It's that special time in late summer when the hard work in the spring begins to really pay off. The counters and the table in my kitchen begin to be cluttered with what was picked from the gardens in the last day or so.
We've been having fun making cordials and fermenting various items from the great outdoors. Last week we spent an hour picking the wild cherries which are abundant this year on Stage Road. The cherries are sitting in various combinations of vodka, gin and sugar to become cordials to be enjoyed this fall and winter. I have a rose cordial in the makes. Once the elderberries are ripe they will be used to make our special immunity boosting cordial. I have a batch of pickles fermenting in a crock. It's my first time trying to make this fresh fermented pickle. I got the recipe out of my new Polish cook book, "From A Polish Country House Kitchen
". Josh and a friend made a big batch of dandelion wine which is aging in corked bottles in the closet. I've been wanting a chest freezer for a long, long time and just recently we purchased a used one to put in the garage. It's holding a nice amount of rhubarb, raspberries and blueberries so far. I like to look in it and dream about the good food we'll be eating this winter.
OK, lets leave the kitchen, go outside and take a look in the gardens! Right out the front door is a scramble of marigolds, geraniums, lantana, snapdragons, new guinea impatiens, canna lillies, mint, and salvia in colorful pots on the front porch.
The old claw foot bathtub is now a garden and full of canna lilies, calla lilies, dahlias, geraniums, gladiolas and morning glory.
Today I picked a whooping 13 peaches off the peach tree. My biggest harvest yet!
I created a hay bale, raised bed at the base of the terrace garden hill in which to grow squash. The plants are quite happy as they grow and spill out over the edge of the haybales onto the meadow and hillside. It looks like we'll be eating a lot of spaghetti and butter cup squash.
The sunflower greeting the morning rays is a pretty sight. Under her grows some kale, peppers and a volunteer tomatillo.
The cherry tomatoes are just beginning to ripen.
After looking around my garden at home I headed around the block to my community garden plot at the Raspberry Hill Community Garden
. The space is a very special place where the sounds and beauty of the country nourish my soul. The crickets are chirping, the swallows fly and swoop over the garden and big old maple trees line the lane. The land, also known as the Guyette Farm, was gifted to the Franklin Land Trust by Evelyn Guyette. The gardens are situated on a beautiful spot overlooking hills to the west. The sunsets are gorgeous and the cloud watching is excellent. I got a late start with my plot this year. It's my first year working the land here and a lot of sod needed to be lifted in order to create my garden beds. Finally they are all planted and beginning to really thrive. I'm growing carrots, beets, dill, cabbage, potatoes, kale, onion, leeks, green beans, cucumbers and a cherry tomato. I really love being a part of this group of talented and dedicated gardeners and look forward to spending more time here with the land and with others in the years to come.
Let's walk through the gate and take a peak at the gardens.
The blueberries are ripening in the sun and the old barn is in view over the raspberry brambles.
Cloud watching to the west.
My plot is pictured below in the foreground. All the plants are relatively young but they are coming along. I think they'll do really well growing big and strong during the warm month of August into September before the frosts come.
At home again, Kaz came out to the garden with me after his morning nap. He enjoys throwing around the dirt and mulch as I prep a bed to plant more lettuces.
Happy August, early harvest time to you! I hope you are enjoying these golden days.