Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hey All

I spent all last summer making rugs, and didn't get enough time to soak up the intensity of a Northeast summer. This year is a different matter. I watch every little bit of it happen, and mark it's passing.

The first berries have come and gone. The first garden greens are pretty much past. The cool, rainy weather brought on everybody's broccoli with a vengence. My daughter and I froze 3 bushels.

The blackberries are just starting. They will be lush this year with all the rain. Fine wine and vinegar makings. Elderberries too. Aside from freezing a goodly number, ( Elderberry pie at Thanksgiving is always pleases,) we'll be having Elderberry wine and vinegar.

I have to build a new potato bin not only for the potatoes, but it looks like there'll be lots of squash onoins and garlic.

I feel so rich when I look into our full wood shed, and my full freezers, and I've just started. This winter it's all gonna look like gold.

So, I'm gonna put on my blackberry picking duds, and head out. I hoep everybody's summer is as good for them as mine is for me.

The Maker's Blessings

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Wow! It's cold for the Fourth of July. I was set up at the Farmer's Market yesterday, and had to wear a jacket. The wind blew so hard nobody could set their market tents.

I heard the wind subside overnight, and while it's on the cool side today, there is only a breeze. Now I have to decide whether to mow the lawn, or stack the last of the firewood, or pick the first picking of Black Raspberries. It'll probably be berries.

The Elderberries are nearing the end of their blossom phase. I've been keeping track of Elderberry locations for my wine project. I'm going to need more gallon jugs than I have, or else find suitable substitutions.

Last year, I froze about 20 quarts of E. berries, and was going to make a little bit of wine from my neighbor's E.berries. I wanted to pick them myself, because for me it's kind of a meditation. As it turned out, he picked them, and I couldn't use any of them. My neighbor had probably 40-50 ducks that propagated at will, and wandered the same way. One needed to wear boots to walk their property because duck-doody covered every square inch of the place. When my well-meaning neighbor picked, he gathered a large cardboard box of berries that came from the branches that had bowed down to the ground,--into the duck sh--. They smelled of duck sh-- so bad, there was no berry smell at all. I suppose I could have made a version of Cold Duck. Duck-Dropp wine with its diSTINKtive bouquet.

I love to gather. I gather things for teas, and things that I can sell, (Ginseng.) I have seen so much going on in the fields and hedgerows, and woods while gathering. Your posture, and rhythms, and silhouette are altered to where you are pretty much hanging with whatever is out there. And there's a deep stillness within when you are gathering, ( if you're into it.) When my Dad was an old man, he told me that I was likely concieved while gathering. He and my Mom were gathering Blackberries. The way Dad tells it; he said that he felt someone looking at him, and looked up to see a nude woman just beond the berry patch looking back. My parents used to giggle about picking Blackberries when I was a kid.

Andway, I'm sure the grass is dry enough for me to venture forth, so I'll wish Good Things for all.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer is getting more serious about itself. The strawberries around here, anyway, are beginning to ebb. My black raspberries are just on the verge of ripe.

I put up lots of berries. This year I also intend to make some wines and vinegars. Wild blackberries are common, as are elderberries. I'll freeze a bunch of them, and my black raspberries for jams and jellies that I'll make later on, and I'm not sure how much wine and vinegar I'll make. It depends. The wild blackberry vinegar is one of my favorites, and I've never made or tasted elderberry vinegar.

I rescued a baby bunny from my cat yesterday. Before it revived I took advantage of it's stupor to cuddle it and swoozle it. It had a small white blaze on top of it's sweet head. I wonder where that came from? I released it far from my cat's range. Now it only has to look out for hawks, and owls, and coyotes, and foxes, on and on. It's Hell when you are the favorite food supply for just about everything you share a world with. My mother used to tell me that when I complained about whatever--"You think you've got problems, try being a rabbit."

Anyway, I've got to get moving--
Adios, and Blessings