Wife, writer, tinkerer, grower of food. I'm happiest outside our rambling farmhouse with a basket looped on my arm, picking dinner from the garden. That's joy right there. Please follow along; I'm so glad you're here!
So, instead of the magical, glowing Christmassy house pictures I intended to post today, I bring you... muddy carrots! It got warm and all our snow melted-- but more is forecast-- and really, those house pictures will be best with falling snow in the background, yes? So stay tuned.
I took advantage of the warmth and spent the afternoon outside, mostly doing unfun things (cleaning the chicken coop) but also hauling in another round of produce from the garden. There's still plenty of food out there-- a ton of carrots, some beets and parsnips and leeks, a cold frame full of spinach, and kale which could, I'm pretty sure, survive life on Mars.
There isn't much you can't do, with carrots and beets and parsnips and leeks and kale and spinach, and a cellar full of canned tomatoes and dried beans.
And a few big honking butternut squashes. We have those, too.
Most of these late season crops keep so well in the fridge, I can "stock up" from the garden on a warm day, stowing enough fresh veggies in the fridge to last until the next warm spell. We've been eating a lot of soup-- minestrone and black bean chili and curried butternut squash soup-- and a lot of eggs from those chickens, who just aren't slowing down. Last night was creamed kale, boiled potatoes (tried this technique, which was great!) and poached eggs. Pioneer food. Awesome.
My favorite part of yesterday was stepping into my shed, which is warm and dry in just about any weather, and full of the good musty scents of drying plants and dry soil. I have some bean vines and a whole bunch of arugula drying for next year's seed, some raspberry shoots (they make great tea), mint, sage, dill, and cilantro. And I have flower pots, twine, row cover, trellis poles, potting soil, and hand tools. It's a good place to be. Mostly I just love the smell of this sorta-tidy little room. In winter, it's like a piece of myself (the gardening piece) goes dormant, but I can come out here when I need to and rummage, and organize, and feel that connection.