Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Winter Is Icumen In...

If you've never read poet Ezra Pound's irreverent take on the medieval poem "Summer is icumen in" you should! It always cracks me up and summarizes nicely my own feelings about the season. Except for December and the days leading up to Christmas of course.
We got our first real snowfall yesterday and it's beautiful and Merry Christmassy. Here is the garden in winter mode:
 There is much brush needing to be cleared around it that I never got to during this incredibly hectic fall. And though a rest from garden work is nice, looking at this just makes me sad! I look forward to spring already. Here's a look at more snowiness by the house:
Erg, the season of shoveling, sloppiness and frigid cold (our highs are supposed to be in the 20s this weekend!)
But spread beneath the Christmas tree, those harbingers of hope, the new seed catalogues! This is the first time in five years I haven't sat down to devour them as soon as each one arrived. I just haven't had the time and likely won't until after the 25th. So my annual seed orders will be placed a little later than usual this year.
Something to look forward to in the quiet days that follow the holidays!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Back From My Travels

Happy Harvest Monday everyone! I feel completely out of sync with my routine having been away for nine days during this busy holiday season and I'm trying to get it  together again with Christmas right around the corner. Hope I don't have to travel during the holiday season again anytime soon! Still, it was wonderful to see my older son after the better part of a year since he moved away from here. Lookin' like a happy mom! And look at all of that green!

Well, from 70 plus degrees Florida back to 30 degrees Connecticut has brought me face to face with what's left of the harvest, which isn't much. I still have carrots in the ground and they haven't been mulched. But I was able to harvest a handful of bite-sized ones this week which were very sweet eating. Most of them ended up in a kettle of split pea soup.
 This may well be the last harvest of the season for me. I still have more carrots out there, as well as some kale and Brussels sprouts, but they are all looking the worse for wear. Time to hunker down for the winter and dream of next year's crops. But who knows, maybe I'll get a few more bits out of the garden yet.
In the picture above are my dried scarlet runner beans. The photo isn't the clearest in the world, but the beans really are pretty. When cooked they are very "beefy" and filling. Now that I've admired them enough I plan to soak and boil them like I do with all the dried beans I purchase, then freeze in 2 cup portions, ready to use in any bean recipe I choose. I prefer this to buying canned beans because they are not loaded with sodium prepared this way, are a lot cheaper and once frozen, they are just as convenient.
That's it for this week's Harvest Monday report which is hosted by Daphne's Dandelions each week. Time to get inspiration from the southern hemisphere!