Busy bees in the blooming Dragonbreath flowers.
I grew up hearing hints about the hidden meanings in Beatles songs like Strawberry Fields Forever. But for me the literal imagery of strawberry fields forever is a tantalizing and worthwhile goal. Fields of pickable strawberries for jams, pies, pancakes, juice, maybe even dye, sounds like heaven to me. Adding to that idea is my recollection of a piece of information from somewhere that the island of Manhattan, under the stewardship of its original inhabitants had been described by them in similar terms. Just imagine Central Park as strawberry fields… Essentially, I just don’t think that you can grow too many strawberries!Continue reading
One of the pleasures of cooking, for me, is that food is simply beautiful. Many times I feel like stopping chopping to take a picture. Most of the time I don’t actually stop, except to appreciate the unmatchable art of Nature. The color combinations and hues, the textures and arrangements are, to me, what tubes of fresh paint must be to a painter, pure pleasure. The benefits of home cooking are numerous, and if we are earnest, we can remind ourselves of them in moments of weakness. Handling exquisite beauty should be one of those things on the list of benefits!
On Monday of this week I made a resolution to use gloves when I’m gardening, but on Thursday I was thinning out and transplanting strawberries without gloves on. It seems like a small thing to talk about, but perhaps I have not been giving my humble hardworking hands the respect they deserve. Since my little golf cart is broken (again), and I didn’t feel like walking up the hill to get my gloves when I remembered my resolution, I just went right on working without them.
I love the smell of the lavender bushes when I’m working in the garden. The exercise helps me keep my girlish figure. The sunshine makes me happy in the early morning. But my hands, my dependable hands, busy and productive and indispensable, they get dry and cracked from gardening. Clayish dirt gets stuck under my nails and stains them a brownish color. I can’t cook with dirty hands, but I garden and cook almost every day.Continue reading
About a year ago I started making naturally fermented sodas from a non dairy brew of kefir grains. I purchased the dry kefir grains in a package. I keep them fed in a quart bottle of water sweetened with a quarter cup of sugar. I use a fermentation lid inside the screw band, and fill the bottle to the very top, so that there is no air, but the gas can escape. I make a new batch every couple of days. Or if I can’t keep up with all that, I stash the bottle in the fridge until I get around to making a new batch. The quart of strained sugar water, which I pour from the bottle after 24 or 48 hours with the kefir grains, is what I use to make a variety of sodas.Continue reading
Visiting a quiet cove of Lake Greenwood in South Carolina, no noise except for the water slapping the bottom of the pontoon. Just water and air and serenity…
I do have one tomato vine in my garden right now. I always try to have fresh tomatoes for as long as possible. Once I still had a fresh tomato to slice for Thanksgiving, but I don’t think that will happen this year. I have a couple weeks left, maybe, of fresh Cherokee Purple tomatoes off the vine.
I’m making a resolution today to wear gloves in the garden. And even put something nurturing on my hands before I put the gloves on… like maybe some carrot seed oil and cocoa butter.
It’s been a bit of time since I left New York City (evicted, but that’s another story). I left in 2001 for Vallejo, California. That’s when I graduated from living in an apartment to dwelling in a house with a little backyard. I haven’t been back very often since then. But I left California too in 2009, (after hooking up with my husband the master gardener, but that’s another story). Arriving in Greenville, South Carolina, I graduated again. We left a backyard bursting with corn, veggies, fruits and berries, to go to a few acres of land that sustain our family. We put in, we get out. I haven’t just moved. I’ve changed too.
Wherever I’ve been I’ve been a writer and spoken word artist, but my perspective about what I do has transformed with my transplantations. Poets like to talk about nature, use nature for metaphors, admire the beauty, mystery and ultimate mastery of nature. But there was a time when this poet was more comfortable at a desk in a room with four walls, and a window from which to observe nature cleanly, safely and comfortably. I didn’t understand back in my apartment living days that my roots were bound in the small pot I was living in.Continue reading
Most of our lilies bloomed months ago. These are in a partly shaded area. That’s my explanation for why they are blooming now…