Day of rest

Sunday, yesterday, we actually had no rain – not even a threat of it.  It is amazing how lighter skies (we didn’t really get what you could call sunshine either) can lift the spirits.

After church, we wended our way to Ravenhill Herb Farm to pick up a couple of basil plants.  The basil plants were because the seed tray I planted up with basil a few weeks ago did absolutely nothing – and it turns out that’s because I never added the seeds.  I found the still sealed packet the other day. I had to laugh at myself, carefully nurturing this tray of nothing but soil for 3 weeks.   I must have got distracted…imagine, me, distracted.

Anyway.  Had a lovely half hour at Ravenhill, which has an amazing view, exploring the herb garden, the orchard, checking out the goats etc, all while sipping herb tea.  Very civilized.  AND ran into a good friend showing her relatives from the UK around.  On the way home from there, we drove past Three Oaks Farm, and picked up a couple more basil plants, and conversed briefly with the official farm greeter – part collie, part shepherd, I would say, and very welcoming.  Three Oaks Farm by the way is owned by Rachel Fisher, one of the co-authors of “All the Dirt“, a recently published book about what it takes to get started and grow in organic farming.  It is partly biographical, which I found fascinating, having known of these three farmers for years.  Because it is about their experiences, the books focus is very much on the region I live in, so if you want a glimpse of my corner of the world, go find this book.  Back to Sunday…

Once home we finally had a cup of coffee (I had two actually), sitting in the almost but not quite sun, and planned out our afternoon.  Random photographer and her sister were both, unfortunately, stuck most of the day inside; one writing an essay (misuse or shortage of potable water worldwide- it’s in French, I’m not sure) the other working on a geometry assignment (symmetry of different shapes).  The dog (above) chose to stick with those of us with outdoor plans.

Coffee morphed into a snacky, leftover sort of lunch, and then we got down to it.  He hoed and weeded the potatoes, set up a water barrel near the tiny veg garden for me (and filled it), harvested mint and made 2 jars of concentrated mint sauce to have with lamb over the winter, and cleared away a bunch of branched I’d pruned off a tree near the veg garden. Oh, and he got the pizza dough started in the bread machine.  I got the basil transplanted, weeded the veg garden, harvested our first lettuce for supper, transplanted some onions that had been waiting for a week, hacked thistles for an hour (the chickens were fascinated), collected eggs, hung out laundry and pruned the tree mentioned above.  The dog kept an eye on me, ate something disgusting and dug a really big hole – her idea of a perfect afternoon.

At some point we sat down for a break and had a race to see who could figure out potential yield on the potato crop first – he with his blackberry and google, me with my gardening books –  I won (of course).  Thank you Steve Solomon for your easy to find information.  Supper was homemade pizza and homegrown salad (the tomatoes were actually from a local hothouse).  And it was delicious. The geometry got handed in this morning, and the essay has amazing graphics to go with it.   Nice finish to our day of rest.