The change is upon us. I only cracked one window last night and it was sweater weather yesterday. Oh, the deliciousness of it.
We woke to a bank of mist that moved across the pasture in front of our house before it dissipated as the sun rose. Mark said it was a sure sign of fall. I heard the word "rhapsodic" today. I don’t remember how it was used, but I can think of no better term for this full-up time of year.
Anna visited for the weekend and I sent her home with a care package of green beans, beets, and little red potatoes. August is good garden fun. The taste of a fresh-from-the-garden vegetable is exquisite - but it’s also the texture. I asked Mark to describe it but I answered for him as usual! The adjectives that come to mind - creamy, buttery - soft but not mushy, firm but not tough, perfectly tender.
I picked my second batch of beans for canning this morning. I had to lift the renegade cucumber vines off the bean plants to get to the fruit (or vegetable as it were). This time of year we always quote Midwestern humorist, Garrison Keillor, who describes an overgrown garden as x-rated. “Lots of lewd groping going on out there!”
As I picked beans, the bees were loving the cilantro, overgrown now and blossoming. I thought to myself that if everyone had a garden they would understand why we need to let plants express themselves in order to feed bees. We would also know why farm labor is different than regular labor and should be flexible in regards to overtime and piecework pay. You must harvest timely because vegetables and fruit are ready in a very narrow window and quickly get past their prime eating quality.
So many lessons to be learned between the rows of a garden.
Mark made some kids happy at the local 4-H fair by purchasing a lamb and a hog which will be processed at the local butcher shop. I gave them my cutting instructions for the pork yesterday. “Leave the fat on and put 4 chops to a package.” Things are shaping up for winter.
We shipped the last of the heifers to Oregon for fattening. They’ve been grazing the home place all summer. Mark has been moving electric fence around to make our pastures smaller and allow for better utilization of forage and longer recovery periods for the grass. Additionally, when cattle are confined to a small area they feel competitive with one another and consume weeds much better. I like to follow them around taking pictures of different “treatments.”
The plant life, both grass and weeds in some cases, bounces back after a quick graze. Pulsing roots and taking carbon from the atmosphere is heady stuff; just doing our part for climate change. “You’re welcome!”
|Kate loves coming upon irrigation water when moving cattle|
|goal is every plant bitten or trampled|
lots of residual
|headed back to grad school|