Thursday, June 05, 2014


The promise of a sunny and mild day -- delivered. And the midge population is starting to move on. Thrilling news for the chickens. And for me.

[In answer to a commenter's question -- the chicken's job description does include eating pesky bugs. I attribute to them the remarkable truth that this year, unlike elsewhere in the county, we have had no ticks. But catching things that fly -- that's tricky business. They try. Rarely do they succeed.]

We wake to a foggy morning.


It's the kind of mist you love: secretive, mysterious, but at the same time adding a softness to the landscape -- it's all very lovely, especially when you know that the sun will lift it soon...

farmette-7.jpg reveal something special.

And indeed, by breakfast time, it is a sunny day.


We have yet another opportunity to make progress in the yard. As if we still need to make progress! In years past, we would be off off and away by now for our month long vacation. I would never finish all that needed to be done and we would not witness the emergence of summer. Not at the farmette, not in Wisconsin. This year, is, of course different. Outdoor work is never really finished, but the seasonal checklist is only so long and I have crossed off most of the items on it. In the next week, I'll have attended to every corner, every hanging limb, every raspberry cane, every pea shoot, every flower that made it through our hard winter and those that were added just this year. The irony is that yet again I wont sit back to revel in its completion. Leaving at the end of June will mean that yet again I will miss that moment of magic when the garden leaps into the abundance of summer.

I was thinking of this as we inspected the vegetable plantings in the morning.


The peas are starting to grow, the corn is doing well, the tomatoes are terrific. Will the harvest wait for my return in mid July or will Ed reap the first benefits of our planting efforts?

The fields to the north of us are fully green now. It's hard to watch all the activity and know that farmer Lee, who for many years planted just to the south of us isn't here this year.


We go to our local farmer's market in the late afternoon and again I miss seeing her at the table she occupied in the past. Still, we have our vendor friends and they are a comforting presence. In addition to the greens, Ed buys his cheese curds, I pick up a baguette.

And here's a surprise! The baguette from the French bakers is a universal hit at home! It is the only food I can think of that our whole clan -- Ed and I, and Isis the cat, and all four chickens absolutely adore!


The hens throw themselves at every crumb and the typically shy Scotch is at the head of the pack. Really Scotch? You're all about the baguette now?


With the retreat of the midges, the chickens are making up for lost time. That means, too, that they dig and scratch with a vengeance. You'll see me running to redirect them away from the large flower bed many times today. I have to remind myself that they don't really destroy the plants. But at the moment of planting, every gardener is terribly invested in all the emerging growth and every damaged leaf is a blow to one's sense of order and propriety.

Supper is a typical post market spring meal. Asparagus, spinach mixed into the salad, oyster mushrooms and our chicks' eggs with chives.