|A bountiful basket|
-Franca de la Pena
Golden sheaves stand ripening
in the setting sun
Bounty of a fruitful harvest
A year's labor well spent.
From tiniest seed to trees laden
with sweet promise
The earth gives forth her joy in abundance.
It's hot. Really hot. The mercury hit 102 in Davidson on Saturday. And today looks like it's going to be in the upper 90s. Doing the chores in the barn is now a sweaty, stinky enterprise, even in the early mornings and late evenings. Summer has descended upon us, and it looks like she's here to stay.
|Inca Jewel Sunflowers line the garden fence.|
But we're not complaining. Not for a second. For alongside summer's heat come the biggest, best harvests of the year. Baskets of sweet peas; bunches of deep-green broccoli; bowls of salad greens; mounds of juicy cucumbers; bouquets of cheery zinnias, sunflowers, and marigolds; bags of okra spears; aromatic bunches of basil and sprigs of oregano, dill, parsley, mint, and thyme; platters of tender bush- and pole beans; and of course, enough zucchini to feed two armies. These are some of the things we have harvested so far here at Little Bent Creek Farm. And there is still much to look forward to: the carrots, corn, onions, celery, leeks, and peppers have yet to fully mature.
|Romaine and Slobolt Lettuce have fed us for weeks.|
|Heinz Paste Tomatoes slowly ripen on the vine.|
Every trip out to the garden these days is an exciting adventure. "Look, mama, look!" the girls exclaim, "The okra is ready to pick!" "This green bean is so long!" "Mmmmm . . . these peas are sweet!" "Ouch! That cucumber is prickly!" Although I've enjoyed harvesting produce from the gardens I've had in the past, I had never had nearly as much fun at it as I have this year. For this year, I've gotten to share in my girls' elation as they see the plants they helped start from seed, transplant, water, and weed now offer them mouthfuls of pleasure and fulfillment.
|Yellow Dent Corn towers over the Three Sisters plot.|
|Danvers Carrots form sweet fingers underground.|
|Recently canned strawberry jam, blackberry jam, and kosher dill pickles|
|Zinnias and zucchini|