“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”
The storms have passed and Autumn is here in full, golden glory. The world seems rich, as if everything has been dipped in shimmering amber. Especially in the morning as the sun rises over yellowed fields glistening with dew.
It’s been wonderful to be out in it each day, strolling through my gardens to see what’s happening, utterly delighted to find asparagus growing again!!! I have the friendliest asparagus that seems to grow when I need it, not when it’s supposed to, as if its sole mission in life is to make me smile.
I was able to get out and plant things this weekend – sugar snap peas, Brussels sprouts, golden beetroot, carrots, kale, lettuces, purple-topped turnips, and, my nemesis, leeks. I love leeks. I’d have an entire garden just for leeks if only they would grow for me. But they flatly refuse. I try different varieties, different soils, full sun, partial shade, lots of water, little water, nothing seems to work. Still I keep trying with firm hope that one day they will give up their stubborn ways and flourish.
In the meantime I take heart in the things that do love to grow – colorful chilies and my favorite yellow pear tomatoes, fat purple eggplants, tender string beans, and elder berries.
On Saturday morning Bear and I took full advantage of the gorgeous Autumn morning and picked another harvest of olives. It’s so nice that our friend’s trees are ripening in stages so we can do little harvests instead of one massive one that would thoroughly tucker me out. It was wonderful out there, breezy and beautiful, and we chatted away as we picked.
Our friend Gary brought me a whole stack of olive recipes that he’s used over the past 30 years, and as I leafed through the hand-written notes I read snippets aloud to Bear. I had no idea there were so many different ways to cure olives. You can slit each one with a knife and soak in fresh water for a short period of time or leave them whole and soak them for a couple of weeks. You can also cure them in wood ashes, an ancient method utilized by people who didn’t have access to salt/salt water. I’m excited to try that.
We welcomed six ducklings to our farm family over the weekend. Aren’t they cute as can be? I love how the morning sun illuminates their downy feathers.
I also like the Autumn sun rising on my favorite tree. It’s a massive gum outside our bedroom window with a lovely twisty trunk with a hollow that is the favorite nesting spot for all sorts of birds. Sometimes wood ducks are in there. One morning we were thrilled to look out the window just in time to see the parents call for their babies. One by one the tiny tots launched themselves out of the nest, plummeted to the ground, bounced once or twice, shook themselves, then toddled off as if they hadn’t just fallen 3o feet. Amazing.
Now it’s time for a cuppa with Bear. It’s getting close to the start of medieval season for us, so we’re working hard on lists and plans and projects. He’s building a medieval bed, I’m making a medieval quilt, and soon we’ll be ready for our first event of the season. We’re excited!!!
What good things did you see and do over the weekend? xo