Monday, July 31, 2006

Beastly Hot!

Our grandmother always kept some form of a diary. Usually it was in book form, occasionally just the space for each day on a calendar, but she always made some notation about her days. She would mention if she went anywhere, if anyone visited, and always, always the weather. Rarely did she just tell the temperature. She had a flair for the dramatic, and that meant that she used phrases like "beastly hot". We use her terms sometimes. This week and last, beastly hot FITS! But summer it is, that's for sure. The first picture is of the turkeys on the roof as a storm gathers. The turkeys are starting to remind me of a gang of teenaged thugs. They bit off most of my green cherry tomatoes the other day, and I *think* they were trying to get protection money out of me. Or chickweed.
The wildflowers are knocking themselves out. Cornflowers, coreopsis, cosmos, black eyed susan, calendula, and poppies to name a few. They nod as I pass in the heat of mid-day. Their colors seem to stay vibrant in the sun.
The gourds are getting downright scary! There are so many of them. This picture is just a glimpse down the middle of the pergola. Most of them are growing on the outside, a few of them slipped in through the screen. Some have managed to wedge themselves between solid objects so that they are oddly shaped. I can't wait to get to work on them. After doing some research for an article on gourd-crafting, I have so many ideas running through my head....
Bowls, cups, boxes, purses, and decorative pieces pierced to allow light through... using paints, feathers, textiles, beads, polymer clay, woodburning tools, the dremel. Ah yes, another hobby.
One of the best things about this house is the sort of communal gardens. I've planted tons of herbs, lots of different sorts of bean, eggplants, patty pan squash, and a couple other squashes, peppers of many varieties, and watermelons. Maryanne and (mostly) Bob have planted corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and the gourds.
That means that when I have a hankering for some corn on the cob, I just walk down between a few rows of trees til I get to the corn, and take what I need. When they need some mint, basil, or dill, all they need to do is mosey on up to my garden and take what they need. There is something indescribably satisfying about putting on a pan of water and heading out the door to pick supper. I have always loved grabbing a quart or so of wild veggies, but add to that the option of other veggies and herbs, and it is heavenly.
We are about to make some pickles from a recipe that someone sent to the Essential Herbal yahoo list the other day. We just need to see if we can find some more dill from a friend down the road. I've been trying hard not to let mine bolt, and now I NEED the seedheads. Figures.
We spent several hours the other day freezing corn. We got 46 quarts and plan to make chicken corn soup to freeze in another few days. Then, there will be tomatoes to can, peaches to can, and maybe I'll figure out how to "can" pesto. The Thai and Holy Basils are enormous, beautiful, and so fragrant.
Just about when we get that all figured out, the beans will be ripe. And the eggplants. We are having a great time, and already thinking about what we can do next year when we actually have time to plan!
Oh... and then there's always applesauce, apple butter....
Lucky the bay trees aren't bearing berries yet!


Zonnestraaltje said...

Aaaacck!!! Killer Turkeys from Outer Space!!!

Becky said...

Wah! my birdhouse gourds have only started flowering in the last week or so, I'm so jealous!


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