Sunday, July 05, 2009

It's All About the Garden

Eunice celebrates Independence Day
Belated Happy 4th of July (from Eunice and me)

It has been a wonderful week, with great friends dropping by, lots of spinning to do, big projects nearing completion and a little time on the road for a change. At last I have my car back, after it spent a couple of months helping out the SO because his vehicles were all terminal!

More local lovely produce
The fruits (or, rather, vegetables) of labor

I've spent a good many satisfying hours out in the little garden this past week or so and loved every minute of it. If I had to chose between spinning and gardening....well... Have I fooled you with the picture of the lovely squash, cukes and peppers? This is the mountain, remember, and we had a heavy frost on May 17 this year. So my garden really looks like this....

Garden, fence, trees and house
Time in a garden....

We do have some lovely heirloom tomato plants, and there are little tomatoes on almost all of them. All green so far. I planted broccoli and brussel sprouts before we went on vacation and they're showing signs of growing now, after I weeded and weeded the rows. June is not a good time for a gardener to go on vacation. My only harvest, though, is some lovely lettuce from the two different types I planted and I've been living on salads for a couple of weeks. On Wednesday I weeded and weeded, mulched and mulched, and planted half-runner beans, sweet corn and a row of marigolds. I also lugged some big pots out to the garden and planted nasturtiums and marigolds in them.

Lily keeps me company
Keeping company by the garden

It was such a love day. I brought Lily out to stay with me while I worked, and she settled down under the big spruce tree to watch. Frequent breaks sitting with her and reading with a glass of iced sweet tea made the day even more pleasant. The breezes were lovely and made working out in the garden a pleasure.

Pea blossoms in the garden
Pea blossoms

We put some little fences up for the peas and there are a few little pods growing along with the blooms. So it won't be long until we have some peas. The rows are quite short so I may have to save them up over the summer for one meal!

Grandma's big concrete pot
Crisp garden lettuce

The cool breezes and wetter weather have been great for my lettuce and I almost hate to pick the pretty leaves. So not going to let it waste, though, if I can help it. The big pot belonged to my grandmother, my father's mother, and I set it up on a big concrete block. Every garden needs a focal point, huh?

Greenberry House at the Patrick County Farmers Market
Greenberry House at the farmer's market

And the lovely squash and stuff in the picture above? The product of a real farmer's labor, Wayne Kirkpatrick in Stuart. "Below the mountain" the season starts a good bit earlier than it does in Meadows of Dan. I went down early on Friday morning to participate in the Patrick County Farmers Market, which is open every Friday morning during the season. I was there before seven but farmers were already setting up and customers were coming in very soon after.

Mary Jo and Charlie
Mary Jo and Charlie Leet

This week's market was something of a special event, and several farmers and artisans were set up, along with some fantastic musicians. It made for a lovely start to a busy weekend. There were more beautiful vegetables than I can post pictures of here, but more are in my Flickr album.

Daylily at Farmers Market
Daylily at Farmers Market

One thing I loved about the farmers market was that some things were food for the soul as well as to nurture the body. Several farmers had cut flowers for sale and there were daylily plants available as well. Just looking at all of the beautiful products was a pleasure...every piece seemed polished and buffed for display with care.

I bought red potatoes, some lovely small squash, some beautiful purple onions and some tiny black potatoes as an experiment to saute in olive oil and garlic. And lovely Mary Jo gave me an ENORMOUS bag of green beans, Blue Lake, that I'll eat fresh and also freeze the rest.

Speaking of markets, it looks as though the Crafts in the Meadows festival was a great success yesterday. It has been raining all day today (good for the garden but not great for festival vendors) so I'm not sure how they are fareing. It has been pretty busy at the shop today so hopefully the crafters and authors are getting visitors. Last night we enjoyed fireworks and music at Christopher's Pizza, just down the road. The next big festival here in Meadows of Dan is the Folk Fair, on August 8. Sounds like some good things are planned!