Thursday, July 23, 2009

Midsummer Harvest

After June's gentle ripening of strawberries, the blossoming of vegetables and fruits emerging from the branches, July brings a moderate harvest. Every morning I step outside to wake up, meditate and visit the garden in fresh morning air. I spend time visiting with the midsummer harvest, before I get to work. There's a hum in the air. Almost an electric pulse. The intense, vital heartbeat of a burning hot sun, hundreds of insects fighting for dew drops and birds calling high and carefree. This elephant garlic has been grown by the same woman here for over 40 years. She passed away earlier this summer and left a beautiful, serene garden. Every year asian pears go to waste. Giving them away and eating them every day is not enough. I need to find a good recipe for these fruits. Maybe a sweet-spicy-gingery-peppery chutney?
This view reminds me of being 3 or 4 years old. It's a timeless summer lawn, that to me, is only in Portland. That particular mix of grass and "weeds", our sweet, rather accomodating honeybee drones...
Amaranth grown by the previous owners of this house is one of the perennial surprises that come with the property. Green and red varieties. Perhaps enough grain to steam and serve with fresh corn? I hear the leaves are good steamed or shredded in salad. I need to be more adventurous with the greens I eat. It was just within the last year that I began eating kale!
A garden is not complete without roses. Spicy, lemony their perfume is heavy in the air. This Queen of the Flowers inspires passion and compassion. It's very existense soothes my heart and proves that beauty will exist no matter what. I especially enjoy a strong black tea brewed with rose petals and a touch of agave.
The plum tree is heavy with fruit and I hope the harvest isn't a misery of wasps and hornets. They seem to have alot of business in this tree. Justin and I are going to infuse the plums with orange oil and dry them for healthy desserts.
First harvest on a blueberry bush from the Olympia Farmer's Market.
Garlic harvest. Soon to be chopped with the final harvest of the kale and maybe some snap peas if we can stop eating them raw right off the vine like candy.
I await impatiently for the tomatoes. We have 4 heirloom varieties and I harvested 3 cherry tomatoes this morning. My favorite summer breakfast is toasted Dave's Killer Bread with a little flax oil or Earth Balance, a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast and layers of thinly sliced, garden fresh tomatoes doused generously with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
Soon these banana peppers will add a sweet dimension to Justin's kick-ass chili. Someday he's going to enter a chili competition and blow them away with his vegan masterpiece.

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