I have not written for some time now, as things have become even more complicated in my life. Trips - to HSA and IHA conferences, NE District Gathering - have pushed my plans back. Add to that spending time out the property in Royalston that I am developing, planning a home, working with the excavator, putting in a well - these are things that are running my life these days. The harvest has begun, and now I am trying to figure out what to do with all the extra produce. The plants are not quite as hearty as they usually are due to the extreme drought we have had this summer. That doesn't bother me as much as it should, as that means a little less work preserving the harvest. Though I did make some eldeflower wine, I chose to leave the berries for the birds this year. I have never seen so many feasting on the berries, and I expect the lack of water was the reason.
My roses performed well this spring, and I took the opportunity to make Rose Petal Mead. It's sitting in a large carboy in my basement - waiting until next year to taste. Given that the Herb of the Year for next year is Coriander/Cilantro, I also tried a batch of Rose Coriander Liqueur and experimented with a Coriander/Cilantro Liqueur. Both turned out well, and I look forward to sipping some in the depths of winter.
Earlier this year, I also made a large batch of kimchee. I had a fair batch last year, and I think I improved on it this year. It still is not spicy enough! Just put up some sauerkraut, so my fermenting tasks are almost done.
The zucchini and summer squash are doing nicely. With the dryness, I am not experiencing the usual mildew problems. I have made zucchini chips, zucchini pancakes, and am working with the dehydrator to "put up" slices for winter casseroles. One small batch of chili sauce, and I am cooking some tomato sauce as I write this. Just a few cukes to eat, which is fine as I still have jars of pickles and relishes from last year, and I believe the year before.
The lawn - though very brown in areas - still needs mowing. One thing the new home will not have is an extensive lawn. I may allow a patch of about 10' x 10' - or enough to put a hammock on and walk barefoot through. I will miss using the clippings for mulch, though. It has proven to be a saving grace this year, with the almost desert-like weather. The crops enjoy the cooling effect and the mulch helps maintain any water. At least now the nights are cooler, and there is strong dew on the plants each morning.
So I have taken a bit of a siesta this summer, trying to not let the weeds (they are huge!) get to me. I'm taking a little break from obsessing over the gardens, and letting things go. I still have a lot to investigate with the new property - I do know I have trilliums, jack in the pulpits, and cardinal flowers. Also, a lot of glossy buckthorn - groan! My woodland home is going to be a new experience.
Things are holding their own, for the most part, and I am dreaming of a new garden, with less work, for my new home. Of course, there will be plants to move. . .
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