A serious lack of dry wood (and dry conditions, as we haven’t finished its roof) have kept Loven out of commission most of this year. She’s in fine form now though: here’s the CSA portion of the WW sourdough, and a chicken, a big skillet of pilaf, a big pot of homegrown cranberry beans and some beets and onions are still cooking inside.
Even though I do my best to grow food year-round, it is in mid-June and mid-November where we experience a bit of a fresh-food desert. Sure; there’s plenty of food to eat fresh year-round because much of it is grown year-round (salad, the onion family, root crops, cabbage family). We’re human though and so we tire of eating the same things.
I like the pre-bounty of this time of year. Every night means something new to eat, maybe just a few, fresh. Last night, for example, was the first full harvest of favas. Such a sensual pleasure, the whole fava experience. I remember loosing the beans from their softly lined pods with my daughter when she was about three. She put the empty pods on her fingers as “sleeping bags” and it was so apt: I would curl up in that soft down too if I could. The little pile of shells and the growing pile of bright creamy beans as we slip them from the beans’ inner skins: we’re anxious to eat, and are not burdened by the task. Earlier crops have likewise had us rubbing our hands together in greed, and we feel a happy anticipation during our pre-dinner trips to the gardens.
Year Five of seed saved from a Copra cross storage onion. This is a good year for onions: that cold wet spring seems to have favored them. We knock their stems over a week before harvest to help store them later.
Despite the bounty, I try hard not to “miss” that which I normally can eat the rest of the year. There is a shut, bolted, windowless door of the staple crops of potatoes, celery, carrots and beets: despite my efforts, potatoes will sprout; celery, carrots and beets will flower. Unless the earth slips on its axis and we skip the frosts of early spring, these crops just try their hardest to be unappealing. It’s a great survival technique. Maybe I can jigger seed-starting just enough…or plant greenhouse spuds in January….
The distractions of the freshening garden though do help dull the pain. Up tonight: artichokes and the first squash of the season. Oh, and strawberries. Bon appetit.