Saturday, June 10, 2017


A hot and windy day. On the one hand, you like the wind: it tosses the hot air in ways that make it seem less, well, hot.

On the other hand -- newly planted perennials don't like the early and constant heat, nor do they like the wind. So I have to reassure them. Usually standing over them with a stream of cool water and soothing thoughts is enough. But it does take time.

In the morning, I cannot give them time. I focus on breakfast...

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And then I hurry to the young family's home so that we can do our weekly walk to the farmers market downtown.

The market is crowded. And it truly is very very warm. And yet, this little girl loves these outings as if they were excursions to an ice cream parlor. It's in her genes!

I make many stops. New this week: sweet peas! And of course, strawberries. And late spring asparagus. And a bunch of flowers. And perhaps the most important -- mushrooms.

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Jaime and Diane (from Indian Farm Mushrooms) are my weekly mushroom suppliers: shiitake, oyster and more recently -- lion's mane. They've been at the market for some twenty years. I don't think I've ever passed their stand without buying their mushrooms.

Snowdrop's mommy and daddy are both at the market this week -- this, of course, makes the girl very happy.

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As always, she has her moment on the green lawn.

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And then we walk back to her home.

Afternoon: Ed is off examining a forty year old tractor for possible use at the farmette. (Well? Did you like it? Nahhh... It leaks oil. Among other things...)

I take stock of our farming efforts.


The peaches have all been devoured by squirrels. The strawberries from the strawberry patch -- by every living creature at the farmette except us. The peas -- I expect them to go any day now. And today I see that 90% of our cherry crop has been gobbled up.

But wait! The strawberry-in-pot experiment is working! The plants are bearing fruit, and with few exceptions, the fruits (behind the netting) are holding up well!


I'm happy about this for many reasons: first, we think we can expand production to many more pots going forward. Secondly, our berries are good! We planted the Mara variety and their flavor  is excellent! Finally -- well, I get some pleasure in knowing that Snowdrop traced the process from beginning -- when she pushed in wee strawberry shoots into the soil -- through periods of watering and monitoring, until the end -- when the berries appear and are ripe for plucking.

But I save the plucking bit for later. Right now, she has just arrived and she is ready to eat supper with us (pizza -- how unclever is that!)


(And strawberry ice cream, which I took an inordinately long time selecting, because if you look hard at the freezer section of your store, you'll note that most ice creams there are not ones you especially want your grandchild to eat, even if you're feeling indulgent, as I am tonight.)


(Here we are, picking the ripe strawberries. Oh, how good it feels to have given her that!)


And though it's past her bedtime, I still have one idea for this day: after all, it's warm. The bugs are not out in full force yet. The grass is freshly mowed. Snowdrop is with us for the night.

This confluence of good factors convinces me that this should be the night when Snowdrop discovers camping.

Oh, not for real: I do not want to experiment with disturbing her great sleeping habits just right now. But what if we just put up our tent and let her see the beauty of lying inside, as the breeze passes from one side to the next?


What if I took out my sleeping bag and let her feel its comforting softness?


What if we all watched the sun set from inside the screened walls of the tent?


Well, she loves it. I mean, really loves it!


She tries hard to convince me that she will very quickly fall asleep if I only let her stay  right there, beneath willow branches and the clear skies.


We can't, Snowdrop. Not tonight, But soon! You have your whole childhood ahead of you! Good night, good night! Sleep well, sleep tight. Inside the farmhouse.