Saturday, July 21, 2012

Summer "Salad"

So far, this summer has been an interesting one here on the farm.  For the most part, we are pretty well insulated from the very serious natural disasters that have hit so many parts of the country, but having so much contact with friends all over means that we are very aware of the bigger picture.  It was very dry here, and the anxiety we felt as the patch of sweet corn languished and died was just a small taste of what our friends in the midwest are experiencing.  The threat of brush fires was a constant reminder of the cauldrons to the west, and the weeks of high 90's and cloying humidity was still mild compared to many parts of the US.  We've been lucky so far, and the storms over the past week have refilled our streams, reservoirs, and ground water levels.  Right now the temperature is in the mid 60's (but that humidity is still with us...) so we're getting a break.

All in all, we went about our business(es) and had a few adventures.  We utilized the extreme heat to melt soaping fats and pounded out nearly 30 batches in the last month.  Every time the shelves looked full, orders poured in and emptied them again - but that's the plan, isn't it?

I've gotten to play with some different tinctures, like wild lettuce and lobelia, made a gallon of sour cherry "bounce" and our CSA share is keeping me busy trying new recipes and eating great foods.  Beets, squash, cucumbers, kale and eggplant are big right now.  Bob's potatoes and onions were harvested the other day and sit in crates down in the work barn.  We got to meet our favorite big-city beekeeping gypsy and Renegade Farmer, Zan Asha last week, and it was fun to toss ideas back and forth.  That was followed by a few days with my guy, and now we're looking forward to a little time with friends from the Big Apple.  It's a good mix here.  Although it might sound a little wild, everything falls into a lovely rhythm and we enjoy every bit of it.

In the midst of this, the deadline for the Sept/Oct issue of The Essential Herbal arrived.  I bundled up the well-stuffed file of articles and sent them on to Maryanne for lay-out.  I was more than a little surprised to hear that it looked "light" to her after setting all the content, but then we realized that several of the articles were in a format that didn't carry over when she got started - and then realized that we'd need to use a smaller font and shrink the margins to get it all on the allotted pages.  THAT'S more like it!  There's a perfect blend of articles covering all aspects of herbal use - culinary, medicinal, growing, and enjoyment - and now if I can just get a focus for the field notes section, we'll be all set.

It's hard to try to imagine what August and September will bring this year.  We're in new territory and have never had a year like this one before.  All I know for sure is that there will be a bumper crop of elderberries to process, and I'll be distilling lots of white sage from my own plants and there should be plenty fragrant leaves of rose geranium for the still as well.  We'll keep on keeping on and hope for the best.

1 comment:

Sonja said...

good luck for your crops!! enjoy!


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