I've been lax in keeping up with the garden. It is so darn hot. I go outside with good intentions, but quickly find myself feeling exhausted and thinking of ten projects I could work on inside...in the air conditioning...
A cool morning beckoned me outside recently though, and I got much done before the heat of the day hit. I finally finished the weeding I started when we came back from Michigan and there was much to harvest - the fun part!
I yanked the rest of my watermelon radishes. I've had trouble selling these to my family. No one besides me likes the spiciness of a radish. The only way I've found to get others to eat them is to slice them thinly, coat in olive oil and salt then cook at 425 until crisp: radish chips.
We have been working our way through the carrots, one or two at a time. I pulled about ten of them to use in a juicing recipe and maybe a few for dinner.
I laid them on the ground for a minute while I went to get a tool and when I came back this chicken had her eye on them. Can't you just hear her saying: Umm, mom, are these up for grabs cause you know I really like fresh vegetables???!
I gave the chickens the greens on top but kept the carrots for me.
Beans are amazing. I mean, really. These vines have soared up their trellis and are reaching for the sky.
This one looks like it might cross over the gap and grow up onto the roof of the lean-to. That would be fun to walk underneath!
I picked a small bowl full of beans. Those were eaten before the day was done.
Walking under the lean-to to put some of my harvest in the shade, I caught this out of the corner of my eye.
Guess that chicken didn't feel like walking all the way over to the coop to use a nesting box. She pushed the cool soil aside under my extra tomato cages, sat down, and dropped her egg there. It's like Easter every day!
My calendula is bounteous with blooms so I picked a few more bunches to hang to dry.
They are hanging near the garlic that I hung a couple weeks ago. It looks like it's just about cured and ready to trim and bring inside.
When I was finished, I had two large trays and a five gallon bucket of edible abundance.
Next came the washing. I brought everything inside and spread out clean dish towels all over the counters. Washing and examining food you have grown - like many parts of gardening - is meditative. If you take your time and let yourself be filled with gratitude for all that abundance, it's such an enjoyable exercise.
I had sweet peppers, beans, my first ear of corn...
...beets, carrots, beet greens...
...patty pan squash, zucchini, cucumbers, okra...
...and kale, still going strong!
After cleaning everything and letting it dry, I packed it away until I had time to start cooking or preserving it. Tomatoes stay out on the counter in a pretty bowl. Cucumbers, beans, greens, okra, squash and zucchini went into the fridge. Peppers into another bowl on the counter. Beets and carrots into a third, covered with a light dishtowel.
In my near future I predict dilly pickles, kale and beet green pesto, some juicing experiments, radish chips, and maybe even beet relish. There's always so much to try.
Sometimes I find myself feeling like - if only I had more time. I have all this abundance to deal with now all at the same time. When I feel that way, I remind myself to just enjoy what I can do. If we can't eat something when it's ready or I don't have time to preserve everything, the chickens will always eat what we can't. And watching chickens enjoy fresh food is a joy in itself!
"The fastest way to bring more wonderful examples of abundance into your personal experience is to take constant notice of the wonderful things that are already there."
- Esther Hicks
May the sun bring you new energy every day.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
May the breeze blow new strength into your being.
May you walk gently through the world
and know its beauty all the days of your life.
- Apache prayer