Today was the real start of our summer – my husband has the week off work before he starts teaching summer school, the kids started swim lessons this morning, and the garden is filling in with every shade of green and splashes of color.
I am looking forward to this summer so, so much. I want to soak up every moment and appreciate every single thing that comes my way. A year ago tomorrow, I broke my ankle very badly, and missed an entire summer because I was having surgeries and laying on the sofa, blurred by pain meds and breakthrough pain. This summer is going to be different. Not sure what summer will have in store yet, but whatever it is, I am going to be thankful and take in every taste, texture, color, connection, experience that comes my way.
I picked some produce this morning, appreciating the change of seasons as the final rhubarb and garlic scape bundles were picked, alongside the first of the summer squash and bush beans.
The abundance of sweet little currant tomatoes are beginning to turn, as are a few types of cherry tomatoes. If we have the hot week they’ve forecast, there will be tomatoes to pick next week.
The Early Laxton plums are ripening. Ruth and I shared the very first plum of the year. Early Laxton lives up to its name – producing lovely little yellow plums with a red blush weeks or months before other plum varieties. The plums have a nice honey-like flavor and a good tart plum skin to contrast with the super-sweet flesh. They are a bit mealy, but not unpleasantly so – and something must be sacrificed to get such an early producer.
Ruth picking Costmary (Tanacetum balsamita, also known as Magdalene or Sweet Tongue) leaves in the front yard. The plant has all sorts of traditional medicinal uses, but Ruth enjoys it for the fresh, clean scent of camphor and mint it produces, and wants to dry some leaves for future projects.
The Reliance grapes have set heavily in the front yard arbor. Can’t wait for them to ripen. Last year, the girls would bring me bunches of them while I was on the mend, but I couldn’t enjoy them because the medications I was on affected my sense of taste significantly. This year, I will eat all the grape varieties we grow and enjoy them all immensely.
(I have to say, I am grateful to be able to do many ordinary things I lost the ability to experience while hurt – and one is regaining my sense of taste. There will be many, many good things to try this summer. And the compexity and intensity of flavor of heirloom foods in the home garden is one that cannot be surpassed anywhere. Like the Early Laxton plum above, I am wowed every time.)
Hope your summer is kicking off to a bright and lively start. Blessings on your week.