So the dam has been a blessing, a godsend,
and simply an incredible addition to our canal water system;
that has brought water, the miracle of life, to our hillside.
And with the occasional heatwave, everything had been so thirsty
(& I have to keep reminding myself that these plants like it this hot & sunny)
that the ponds, ground and plants have really soaked it in.
And the new plantings in the old compost bin have enjoyed the sprinkling,
growing larger and lusher every day, especially the sweet corn.
And the seaweed fertilizer has revived Horta Nova,
and the Käferbohnen are in full blossom,
and beginning to form beans
(& with an additional splash of fermented urine
(from the dry composting toilet) onto the popcorn
almost everything is finally thriving,
after months of water rationing.
Our cork was harvested this Monday morning,
in the traditional way of creating seams with a hatchet
and then pulling off huge sheets, or rounds, at a time.
It is nice to become a part of the traditional life here,
and to witness the shedding of the cork bark
(the only tree in the world where the bark
can be harvested in the round without dying)
and imagine that the cork from some of our oldest trees
had graced wine bottles generations ago.
The corkers made us this fruit bowl and ladle,
which we’ve been filling with our homegrown sunflower seeds.
During the long Root time,
I harvested lots more of the red-skinned potatoes,
and bunches of beets, which I roasted and added to potato salad.
And rainbow carrots, which we all sit and eat while I’m harvesting.
And almost all of our heads of garlic, (except the few heads with flower blossoms);
some of which I peeled and started infusing in olive oil with some garden herbs;
the rest I will peel and ferment in a whey and sea water brine, with some dill.
Lacto-fermentation seems ideal for most of my produce storage challenges:
shelf-stable, nutrient-boosting, and requiring no energy to produce;
it seems a perfect solution for storing our stuff sustainably.
By the way, the homemade plum sauce is a hit:
great on pancakes, arugula-cheese sandwiches, mixed with ketchup for a tangy sauce…
Oh, and speaking of resurrection, the second generation arugula is great:
a bit more peppery, with greener, thicker, more spinach-like leaves,
that are resistant to the drought and scorching summer sun.
Also during Root time, the organic ginger Nadine brought us sprouted!
We had planted the pieces with buds during the final day of their residency,
and less than two weeks later, the first sprouts are pushing through.
The Fruit time plants are enjoying this weather:
the tomatoes are growing and ripening,
the watermelons are all expanding,
and the maracuja seems to finally be setting a fruit.
And as we arrive at Flower time,
the rose has a new bud forming,
the calendula have started blooming,
the echinacea continue to bloom,
as are all the sunflowers scattered across the yard,
and right in front of our front door.
Tomorrow after I’m done watering everything,
I will begin collecting sunflower seeds
from my favorite ornamental sunflowers,
to dry and save for Spring planting next year.
And afterwards, while it’s still Flower time,
I will sneak the last from old packets of sunflower seeds
into empty spaces in the flower garden,
to ensure a sunny glow into autumn.