It’s dark and quiet, only one lamp shining so I don’t wake Bear who is slumbering beside me. Work is done and I’m winding down with a cup of tea and a Phryne Fisher novel.
We’ve had a lot going on this week, and it’s lovely to just sit and look back and be thankful for all that’s transpired.
Our goat herd is smaller now, and although it was hard for me to say good-bye to our big, gentle billy and some of our girls, I’m at peace because they went to a good home with good people where they’ll be safe, loved, and well cared for.
We moved our geese into the apple orchard where they can eat down the weeds that have been flourishing since the big rains. When they’ve cleaned it up, we’ll shift them to the big orchard where they can continue to eat and fertilize our grape vines and citrus, plum, and peach trees while they’re at it.
I dug and watered new garden beds, and will plant them with meadowsweet, caraway, angelica, and marshmallow soon. I used up my latest harvest of chili peppers and eggplants by making a range of hot sauces. Some made my eyes water and nose run, while others were mild but flavorful. I also harvested half of my horseradish, and made a creamy horseradish sauce to go with our slow-cooked beef tonight. So fresh and zingy, I loved it.
My favorite project this week was picking olives with Bear.
It was beautifully dark and cloudy, just the sort of weather I love for working outside. The chilly winds sent the olive branches dancing, and I was glad for a snug sweater to keep me warm while I worked.
We picked and picked, gliding our hands down the slender branches, hearing the satisfying plop of ripe olives into the containers strung around our necks.
Sometimes we worked alone, picking our way carefully through brambles, taking care to avoid the occasional cluster of paper wasps. Other times we were side by side, visiting amiably, pulling down branches so we could harvest the dense clusters of olives that always seem to be just out of reach.
Picking olives is meditative work, gentle, steady, and quiet. After a couple of hours we were tired but peaceful, so excited about the mounds of olives ready to start curing. We thanked our friends for sharing their bounty and balanced the buckets of olives carefully in the car so they wouldn’t tip over on the way home.
Today I started the soaking process. In ten days I’ll put them in a salt brine, and a few weeks after that, I’ll put them in crocks with a light brine flavored with garlic, bush lemon zest, rosemary, fresh dill, or anything else that takes my fancy.
Now, though, it’s time to snuggle in bed with my book.
What is your favorite project from this week? xo