Even so, I have grown way too much food for one person. I can. I freeze. I incorporate the bounty into potluck dishes and share it with friends and family. Still too much. I try to give it away, but everyone I know who appreciates fresh vegetables either grows their own or buys from a reliable CSA source--which I totally support and would never interfere with! Others look askance at the little green, yellow, and red beauties and don't for the life of them know what to do with a fresh, uncooked vegetable in their own kitchen. So be it. The damned stuff can rot in the garden or be chicken food.
Thanks to the rains, my farm is greener than I've ever seen it this time of year. My circle of trees has grown close and fully leaved to cradle and cool me in my little house. Despite global warming, and yes I do believe it is real, I am spending less on energy this year thanks to all this lush greenery. Letting nature have her way toward permaculture is paying off in other ways too. On my morning walk, I saw walnut-sized pawpaws developing--a first since I began stewarding this place ten-plus years ago (thanks Patrick Gilliam for your tutelage on pawpaws!). A burgeoning crop of black walnuts and persimmons also have made themselves evident. Speaking of pawpaws and persimmons, I have mead recipes for both! I have perfected my persimmon mead but have not yet attempted pawpaw mead. The recipe that I found for pawpaw mead in Mother Earth News says it's liable to come out a bit "funky"? Aha, a challenge!
The crop that is not doing so well and that I miss this year is the wild blackberries. I usually pick enough for jams and pies and for mixing in with my morning oatmeal. But this year, my growing goat herd has beat me to them. So I have planted a tamer, thornless variety within my fenced-off garden area that will begin to produce next year (ah the ever-hopefulness of a gardener). In the meantime, I will have to content myself and my oatmeal with Bernie's blueberries.
Bernie is a neighbor who farms acres of beautiful blueberries for sale and for U-picking. Bernie is a character worth the volume of writing that would fill a set of encyclopedias, but I will tell you this much. I am not allowed to pick berries this coming Tuesday as is my summer habit because, he says, they will be picked clean this weekend by all of the people he has invited to come out and pick in protest of Marsha, Marsha, Marsha Blackburn, our GOP congressional representative. I am tempted to go support the effort, but currently I am at odds with the Democrats as well as the Republicans, goddamn independent that I am.
Anyway, so goes July on Persimmon Ridge.