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A bountiful harvest, despite the cold weather.

November 24, 2010

Fall and winter can be deceptive. Most people don’t think of gardening, however it can be done! Even in Maine. After reading Four Season Harvest, by Eliot Coleman, we built cold frames and planted some cold tolerant varieties. We won’t see tomatoes in January, but we are hoping for fresh greens for salad, beet greens, leeks and maybe, just maybe some of those super sweet candy carrots! We also made sauerkraut from cabbages we grew and planted garlic for harvest next summer. We have a bizarre passion for garlic. I swear we use fresh garlic in nearly everything we cook. And so far, no vampires have bothered us!

In other news… Harvey and I just finished the Philadelphia Marathon this weekend. A hilly course and a beautiful city! We’re planning towards an event at Emma’s Food For Life restaurant on Dec 7th. If you are in the neighborhood, drop by in the evening for Fall into Winter, which is about transitioning with the seasons. Other local farmers will be there and an herbalist too. (What does a farmer do in the winter? Well, we’re planning toward the spring and reading voraciously. Harvey is working on Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire. I’m working on a very old book by Helen and Scott Nearing, Living the Good Life: How to Live Sanely and Simply in a Troubled World. And together we’re reading Red Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson. We’ve a delightful habit of reading out loud in the car. One of us drives, while the other reads aloud. It’s great!)

Now we’re hitting the road to visit my family near Chicago to celebrate Thanksgiving and a few birthdays. There are so many things I’ve read lately on Thanksgiving, however one thing that seems to resound well with us lately is giving thanks for a good harvest. Usually Thanksgiving becomes a moment to give thanks for our family and our friends, for our health, or whatever. But this year, we have begun to put roots in the ground and grow things. We’ve shepherded a funny flock of chickens and filled our bellies. And we are ever grateful to other amazing farmers and gardeners who do the same. So this Thanksgiving, I’m raising my glass to all those who’ve raised some food, however big or small the harvest may be. Cheers!

Stringing peppers to dry. We hung them on the window.

Harvey smashing up cabbage, turning it into sauerkraut. Now we wait until December to taste it!

Future sauerkraut, made from our garden cabbages.

Coldframes, made from second hand windows and bricks. That's brussel sprouts behind them.

Inside a coldframe we have many different veggies germinating.

Jen digging up the ground to plant garlic.

Harvey holding our Chesnok Red Garlic cloves to be planted.

My very favorite farmer, with garlic.

Garlic planted with a bit of homemade compost.

Brussel sprouts!

A mess of arugula which appears to prefer this November weather.

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