“Fresh herbs offer an astounding palette of vibrant and glorious tastes, but their delights go beyond the flavors they lend to food. For a cook, there is joy in simply handling fresh herbs in the kitchen. Who can resist stroking the proud sticky needles of rosemary, rubbing a plush sage leaf, or crushing a crinkled leaf of verdant mint between their fingers? When yous trip the fragrant leaves off sweet marjoram or tuck a few sprigs of shrubby thyme in a simmering stew, you feel connected to the soil and the season, no matter where you kitchen is.”
Jerry Traunfeld from The Herbfarm Cookbook
This time of year I’m always sad that cilantro and basil are gone, but thyme and rosemary will take their place. I have potted herbs in the house for winter eating, always thyme, and almost always rosemary.
I find thyme to be very easy to grow indoors, there are always a few different varieties. Lemon thyme is my favorite one, I use it almost daily. Rosemary can be hard to maintain as a houseplant, I have trouble with it dying on me. Recently, I read that if you plant it in the soil during the summer and dig it up for winter it will survive the winter much more easily. I’ll definitely be trying that method next year.
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“The first is that some people are unaware of the seasons or the natural world at all. The second is that modern life has so blunted the edges of the seasons for most people that hey just slide by in a smooth, well-blended continuum. For myself, I find the seasons’ teeth bite deep. And even winter with freak flowers and blossoms appearing out of season like Christmas cards arriving in May, there is no way out of this one. We are staring November in the face and winter lies unavoidably ahead.”
Monty Don (The Ivington Diaries)
Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Maine, sunny, warm with a high of around 65. I was outside from sun up to sun down cleaning out the chicken coop, mulching and checking a few things off the endless list. There is snow in the forecast for today, winter will be her before I know it.
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In the mornings they ran through the dewy chill grass that wet their feet and dabbled the hems of their dresses. They liked to watch the sun rise over the edge of the world.
First everything was gray and still. The sky was gray, the grass was gray with dew, the light was gray and the wind held its breath.
Then sharp streaks of green came into the eastern sky. If there was a little cloud, it turned pink. Laura and Mary sat on the damp, cold rock hugging their chilly legs. They rest their chins on their knees and watched, and in the grass below Jack sat, watching too. But they never could see when the sky first began to be pink.
They sky was very faintly pink, then it was pinker. The color went higher up the sky. It grew brighter and deeper. It blazed like fire, and suddenly the little cloud was glittering gold. In the center of the blazing color, on the flat edge of the earth, a tiny sliver of sun appeared. It was a short streak of white fire, Suddenly the whole sun bounded up, round and huge, far bigger than the ordinary sun and throbbing with so much light that it’s roundness almost burst.
-Laura Ingals Wilder (On the Banks of Plum Creek (Little House))
This time of the year I start to notice the sunrises more and more. Perhaps it’s because they’re a littler later and I see them more often. Maybe it’s the fact that the leaves are falling off the trees and I can actually see them. This is the view from my upstairs window.
Regardless, I’m loving the sunrises these days. There’s no better way to start the day than by watching the sun rise!
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“We walked tonight up to the top of the hill back of my cottage and saw the sun go down…Then, as we came home, the rain began to fall very gently–that soft spring rain which give you the feeling you can almost see things grow. My lilies-of-the-valley are just young green shoots coming up out of the ground…The lilacs are out, and as we walked through the woods two white dogwood trees gleamed, almost in full bloom. Yes, the world does live again. Perhaps nature is our best assurance of immortality.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt in her journal a week after the death of her husband FDR (Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage)
Yesterday I spent a few hours cleaning up the garden. It’s that time of the year to clear out all the dead plants to make way for winter mulch. As I was working, I planned out next year’s garden, taking notes of what worked, what didn’t. I noticed the low sun casts a good deal of shade on on the potager during the fall, making this garden not as good for fall crops as the main garden. That can be remedied by taking down a few trees.
I’m actually quite happy that fall is here, I’m ready for the garden to go to sleep.
Are making plans for next year as you finish up this gardening year? Will you make and changes?Filed under Quote | Comments (2)
“It is strange how autumn surprises you every year, even though it is as predictable as a birthday. You are conscious of summer stretching itself so thin that it is transparent, hardly any substance to it at all and yet enough colour in the garden, enough fragile heat in the sun to cling to. And then you turn away for a moment and it’s gone, autumn in its place, lumpen, damp and chill. Overnight you can hardly recall what summer was like. Yet something positive – if rather intangible – takes its place. It is the scent of apples and leaves, the amazing sight of cobwebs suddenly strung from branch to branch like a string of delicate seaside illuminations, and a mouthful of tastes that have lain dormant or inappropriate for two long seasons.”
Monty Don (The Ivington Diaries)
It certainly seems like it’s officially fall now, there’s a crispness to the air in the morning and evening. The air is starting to smell earthy as the leaves fall and start to decompose back into the soil. The sounds of rustling leaves is the most dominant sound in the garden.
I’m thankful that I live in place where the trees turn vibrant colors this time of year. It certainly helps bring some much needed excitement to what might be an otherwise depressing time.
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