Farmette Life

Unexpected harvests: Grilled Asparagus with Sage Butter

In one year of my life I have felt the nervous rustle of joy that comes from seeing two little pink lines on an over the counter plastic stick, three times.  And three times I have felt the uncontrollable urge to free-fall that comes from losing them.  I've had three miscarriages over the course of one small year.  I've been hesitant to write about this - in fact, after my second miscarriage in December, I felt completely blocked, unable to find the words to express how I was feeling, and consequently unable to write about anything.  What I needed most desperately, was to just 'get on with it'.

A thousand shades of green

I have so much I need to say to you (new blog ! new business! new chicks! new ducklings!) - but for now, I give you pictures.  The sun is shining, the hummingbirds are humming to the wisteria, & the green in my garden comes in a thousand shades.  I'm pretty darn happy. Like the new blog ?  It's a work in progress- suggestions welcome!

Trick or Treat ?

When I was shopping for pantyhose at Fogel two years ago I wasn't considering how well they'd support a sugar pumpkin. I was worried about shoving my own pie thighs into them and looking fashionable, or at the very least, thinner, tanner, or something.  I'm sitting here now, on an island off the Pacific northwest, admiring how well they have accommodated the girth of the sugar pumpkins I trellised in an old wine barrel months ago.  Sabina, my ever supportive dog, looks on with two balls shoved into her mouth, unaware of the significance of this moment.  I have to pause: my pumpkins are wearing pantyhose, and I am not.

Balance and the pendulum

It’s been stunningly beautiful for as long as my short memory permits.  Bright cerulean blue skies every morning, a rustling fall breeze working its way through the evergreens and shaking the leaves off the deciduous trees.  I have finally plateaued in my tomato harvest  and I’m about to harvest my first jalapenos- and it’s October 5th.  Granted they’re all happily snug in a makeshift greenhouse but there are still tomatoes and peppers -- in fact so many I am quietly wishing the bunnies would find them.  I’ve made pints on end of sauce, crushed tomatoes, ketchup, passata, dried tomatoes, and frozen cherry tomatoes.  I wait for these beauties all year long -- rarely do I enjoy one out of season because they are so uniformly terrible.  When they come we enjoy them lustily and gorge for weeks -- and then, suddenly, I’ve had enough.  No more tomatoes.  We go on hiatus for months, until sometime in the early dark of winter, a can of garden crushed tomatoes is pureed into a creamy tomato soup, into which we’ll plunge sourdough and Irish cheddar grilled sandwiches.  It is then that I’ll start the long climb to spring, and long for next year’s far away harvest.

Big Bird's last stand

It's the eve of an important day in the Lawlor household.  One of mundane significance in the scope of the world but one unprecedented in our history as drop out bankers turned city slickers.  As many of you know, we leapt into the world of chicken keeping back in April.  The chicks were adorable.  Then they became awkward teenagers, half peach fuzz, half feathers.  Then they started pooping an unbelievable amount and walked with no qualms all over it.  And then, before we knew it, they were full grown and offering the gift of their beautiful light, dark brown, and blue eggs.

Growing pains

We've had an incredible Spring rise from the dirt here on Minnow Creek Lane -- the wisteria is in full bloom, arching over our stone patio.  The jewel pink roses I inherited have begun to blossom, and the blushing peonies have opened their pom pom eyes.  We've been eating gorgeous greens for over a month now - Bordeaux Spinach, with its red-wine stems, sautéed over toast and topped with a poached egg; Roquette Arugula pureed with walnuts, garlic, and parmesan for a refreshing pesto; French Sorrel gratineed with potatoes, cream and gruyere; baby Valmaine Romaine tossed in a mustard vinaigrette and topped with blackened Coho Salmon; Lacinato Kale stewed with shallots and finished with apple cider butter; baby Rainbow Chards with sesame soy glaze over soba noodles; and countless mixed green salads with garden radishes and a simple vinaigrette.  I'm thankful this season for the distraction of an armful of greens and thinnings.  Greens are good for the body, but lately, they've been feeding my soul.