Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Out of the frozen earth below,
Out of the melting of the snow,
No flower, but a film, I push to light;
No stem, no bud, — yet I have burst
The bars of winter, I am the first,
O Sun, to greet thee out of the night!
Bare are the branches, cold is the air,
Yet it is fire at the heart I bear,
I come, a flame that is fed by none:
The summer hath blossoms for her delight,
Thick & dewy & waxen-white,
Thou seest me golden, O golden Sun!
Deep in the warm sleep underground
Life is still, & the peace profound:
Yet a beam that pierced, & a thrill that smote
Call'd me & drew me from far away; —
I rose, I came, to the open day
Have won, unshelter'd, alone, remote.
No bee strays out to greet me at morn,
I shall die ere the butterfly is born,
I shall hear no note of the nightingale;
The swallow will come at the break of green,
He will never know that I have been
Before him here when the world was pale.
They will follow, the rose with the thorny stem,
The hyacinth stalk, — soft airs for them;
They shall have strength, I have but love:
They shall not be tender as I,
— Yet I fought here first, to bloom, to die,
To shine in his face who shines above.
O Glory of heaven, O Ruler of morn,
O Dream that shap'd me, & I was born
In thy likeness, starry, & flower of flame;
I lie on the earth, & to thee look up,
Into thy image will grow my cup,
Till a sunbeam dissolve it into the same.
-The Crocus, Harriet Eleanor Hamilton-King(1840-1920)

cosmic purple carrots

We couldn't resist any longer--these carrots had "pre-dinner snack" written all over 'em.
early purple vienna kohlrabi--the green and purple leaves make excellent stir-fry ingredients julienned up and tossed in at the very end.

Monday, January 30, 2006

baby purple plum radishes

Most Americans subscribe to the "bigger is better" rule in gardening. Of course, they end up with two-foot long zucchinis they can't even give away, let alone eat themselves. Why not start eating them when they're the sweetest and crispest, like these little purple plum radishes? Perfect for salad, Rebecca grown, Rebecca eaten!

Friday, January 27, 2006

the garlics of my eye

My sister gave me garlic for my birthday back in November. How cool is that? Here they are springing up in a raised bed. Maiskij front left, Inrhelium front right, in the middle are unknown garlics, and way back are Khabar garlics. I've also mixed in some lettuces (four seasons, red deer tongue) and dutch cornsalad. For lunch I snuck some garlic leaves minced into some pasta. The sauce had home-canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes (from the branches hanging still in the garage), onion, garlic, our gorgeous broccoli raab, oregano, thyme, leftover chicken and some sun-dried black krim tomatoes from my mother. Mmm, maybe I'll do that again.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The periwinkles have bloommed a bit early this year. This plant has an interesting background. It had been known for protection against evil spirits in Europe, and in France itself was known as the "violet of the sorcerers". In India, juice from the leaves treated wasp stings. Hawaii it was boiled into a poultice to stop bleeding. In China it was used as an astringent, diuretic and cough remedy. In Central and South America as a cold remedy to ease lung congestion, inflammation and sore throats. And in the Caribbean, an extract from its flowers were used to treat eye irritation and infections. Jamaicans were using it to treat diabetes when researchers discovered the plant was loaded with alkaloids useful in lowering blood pressure, lowering blood sugars, arrest bleeding, and fighting cancer. One simple plant teaching us to protect all things natural and it in turn will protect you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

winter's treasures

We live for produce stands full of peaches, strawberries, squashes, grapes, and more. During the winter time when shelves are bare and stands are closed, our only consulation is our own fresh salad greens, topped by our own sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and maybe seared quail breasts, mmm! From the front: dutch corn salad (mache--probably unseen here), red deer tongue, bronze arrow, black seeded simpson, mighty red oak looseleaf, arugala, mizuna mustard, purple wave mustard


My wife Rebecca enjoying a perfect day.


I hate turning away from places, knowing you'll likely never be there again. It's not fair. We don't have enough time in our lives to spend the time we need to, to get to know a place. I usually seek out places once, then never come back. Not because of disappointment, but because there are too many places on earth that I must see before I'm gone.

One place I discovered many years ago pulls me back, though. Year after year I return for more, year after year it pulls me back again. Hunting Island.
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