The Produce Parade

Today the sun slept in.

Summer’s on its way out at last. But OH! what a gloriously warm one it has been.  We have never seen so much sun for so many weeks on end in our ten+ year history here.  So I can’t begrudge the bit of spitting rain that hurried me in my garden tasks today.

I dug the last potatoes. They’re not much to look at, but always a marvel to unearth.

I pulled out most of the tomato plants and gathered up the green ones to ripen indoors.

I urged on the happy yellow zucchini that is suddenly proliferating young ones now that the season is all but spent….

And then I came in and took stock of summer’s remains, smiling all the while with the delight that comes of growing things in one’s own garden…




P1160217Most of the apples have been turned into applesauce already—a delicious cinnamon/brown sugar kind that smacks of apple pie.  We enjoy it on Sunday mornings on French Toast and then the leftover bit on Monday mornings in our Cream of Wheat.

But today I discovered  a pale gem of an apple on a little wild sapling that came up a few years back.  We didn’t expect much from it though the deer certainly made much of it this season.  But today I realized there were three apples left for me. And wonder of wonders they were the juiciest, crispest, sweetest apples of any we have grown.  No wonder they were such a hit with Bambi and friends.  We will definitely be paying more attention to that tree!  Any idea what kind of apple that pale one would be?


P1160219 Not far off is the little scruffy hazelnut tree.  I planted it from a little sapling I picked up cheap at our local Seedy Saturday event…It’s had a rough go of it. The bears CRAVE protein at this time of year when they’ve had their fill of berries and apples and are ready for a long nap.  They pillage our little hazelnut predictably.  So I beat them to it this year and picked the nuts while still green.  They’ve ripened now and we shall have nuts for chocolate chip cookies!

P1160223 I grew my own Mr.Lunt (of Veggie Tales fame) this year for the first time.  We ate him shortly after the photo shoot, baked with brown sugar and apple slices. I thought it was yummy, though my opinion was not shared by all. It’s probably a good thing there was no Lunt family in the squash patch this year, just a pair of Lunts.

P1160224 Well, the zucchini tide is ebbing now.  We’ve had a bumper crop to use in cakes and loaves and fritters and fried ‘Italian wonder’ and relish and…we still wonder if it has any nutritive value at all, or is it just great moist filler for everything?  We tried and loved a new recipe this year:  Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread.  Wow!

P1160226And this orange thing…well, it’s hard to say what it actually is.  Unlike pumpkins, it was orange from the start, and such a brilliant orange.  Shall we try eating it or not?


P1160242Tomatoes.  We’ve had them in all sizes on the table every day for weeks now. These tiny marble-sized ones I call “Mini Maries”. They are sweet and tangy at the same time and oh so prolific.  Good thing, because we tend to eat them by the handful.

P1160230Have you grown these?  They’re tomatillos with a twist; these are a purple variety.  Tell me, does this mean I can’t make Salsa Verde with them?



And that’s all for the produce parade today, except to mention the ubiquitous Kale.  It is everywhere in the garden thanks to its incredible ability to reseed itself. (And its knack for surviving the compost pile.)  We mostly ignore it but have been known to try kale chips and the occasional pot of steamed greens, though we prefer swiss chard.



You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.
















All things purple…

Ever since I was a brown-haired pigtailed girl I have loved purple.  In those days I had a very bright purple stretchy top I wore on select occasions–mostly keeping it in my drawer for just the right day.  These days my tastes in purple are more subtle, tending to a conservative plum–or sprinkled with gray paisley to match my wisdom-frosted head…


It would appear that my new daughter-in-law and I have this taste in common…She not only loves my son, DSC_7862

she likes the color purple!

Their June wedding pictures floated through cyber-space to us this week






(All my chillun’s and grands, and my mom too!)


But where was I… yes, the color purple.

No fashion quite compares with the wild and endless beauty of the flowers of the field.  Not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed like these.  So getting back to nature…bee maid

The view out my front window these days is of hydrangeas putting on their best purple show ever!  I bought these flamboyant bushes when they were scarcely a foot tall and just plain old green.  But their tag promised they would bloom in my favorite hues.  I have not been disappointed.P1150630P1150633P1150642P1150628

In the shade of these bushes a volunteer grows sprinkled in bee-inviting purple…P1150644 and a giant hosta blooms in sensuous loveliness…P1150646

Just around the corner of the house in west-facing heat, the oregano is alive with bees!


Tirelessly bumbling, they do not pose for pictures…


A quiet anemone waits at their side for her chance to bloom.P1150680


P1150685The lavender is nearly spent now.  I used it once this summer to flavor lemonade…

A tiny bacopa is not to be missed, I bought her at the store…


…while another tiny purple thing invades our lawn this year for free!P1150712

Now we’re on our way to the vegetable garden, seen through a lattice-work or purple:P1150693

The sugar peas did pitifully this year, too hot, too persnickety, and just one sweet pea flower bloomed–the purple one of course!


But making up for their poor show are the burgundy bush beans–blooming in purple and easy to spot for picking:P1150741


[Did you know they turn back to green while cooking?  What a disappointment…but not for long. They are delectably tender eating!]


Scattered all throughout my garden is the ubiquitous kale.  Once you’ve grown it and let it go to seed in your garden, you will never lack this purply-veined antioxidant–perfect for munching in the form of kale chips! [How-to here]P1150746Kale Chips

Well we have meandered now past the zucchini (they are not purple!) and with one hand full of beans and two chubby zucchini tucked in the crook of my arm, it’s getting harder to juggle a camera…

What have I missed?


Ahh, a few late chive blooms…P1150744

And way out back the blackberry bramble has a winner for the first-purple-berry contest. (Aren’t blackberries truly purple?)P1150765 No rush for these.  They flag the departure of summer and we’re not in a hurry for that.

And what about this almost purple pear?P1150782

Next to her stands the tree whose name is a shade of purple.  The plum tree is dreaming of sun-ripened prune plums…But alas, she bears only blushing wanna-be’s today….


And the tour of all things purple is complete. Thanks for joining me–would love to have you here in person ( :


Purple…fit for a King!

P1150611I will extol you my God and King and will bless your name forever and ever.  Every day I will bless you and praise Your Name forever and ever…. Ps.145:1,2

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Mt.6:28ff


P.S.  Note to faithful readers who, having read: Feeling Brown* are perplexed at this disclosure of my love for purple (My own daughter was surprised!).  The child in me still loves purple ( :


A few of my favorite…Summery Thingz


  • IMG_20140712_094529350_HDRMellow mornings when the sun slants through the blinds turning everything to gold…


  • Quiet afternoons spent out back reading in the sun, (or dappled shade). Hmm… I’m sure I heard a bear, but I can’t see him. Can you?P1150556
  • … or watering the jungle that my garden has become


  • Fresh cut flowers from my very own garden…especially the ones planted there from seed.  Miracles of a sort.




  • Homegrown cherries!  We got a handful this year from our young tree that dukes it out with the deer every spring.IMG_20140708_104656096 And another handful from the wild cherry tree that sprang up in the old compost pile…IMG_20140708_104838688_HDR


  • Making Currant Jelly from our own bush…

IMG_20140709_132510645 to go on hot homemade bread from home ground wheat. Next time we’ll try grinding our own homegrown wheat!

We just discovered we could thresh it ourselves!  (Thanks to Rachel’s perseverance!)IMG_20140709_123956369_HDRIMG_20140709_150431401


  • Getting to make one more childhood cake, for the 19 year old that loves teddy bears still…



  • Evening bike rides when the sun has simmered down and there’s no rush to be anywhere…or to beat any KOM’s (‘King of the Mountain’ on STRAVA).  Time to stop at the wharf and strike up acquaintances while the ferry comes in over the shimmering sea…




  • And did I say FLOWERS?! more fresh cut flowers?  brought inside to celebrate summer (and a birthday)?!!





  • Ahh and blueberries.  I love picking blueberries, especially with daughters.  It’s been extraordinarily and wonderfully SUNNY and HOT this month and the blueberries have loved it as much as I.  So in record time this morning we had our gallons of berries (from a local U Pick)…

blueberriesblueberries 2

…and in just a little more time we had a pie!


We weren’t the only ones looking forward to a bite.  As we were happily downing pie a la mode, who should we spy through the screen door, emerging from the woods out back, but a hungry bear.  He must have sniffed it through the open door and come venturing to see if there was any for him!

P1150590 He seems to have taken up residence in our little wood this year, but I generally yell and flail before I think to catch a picture. This time, before we scared him away, I popped out the door for a picture!

P1150593 Fortunately, he was more afraid of me than I of him. I got my picture but he got no pie.

Ahh, the wonderful business of summer!