Monday, August 20, 2012


According to the Random House Webster's college dictionary
        august: inspiring reverence or admiration; of supreme dignity or grandeur; majestic.

As of today, the 20th of 31 days that mark her place in 2012, August has surpassed her reputation.
Since the beginning of the month I've had my friend and colleague Barb here for 4 days, my brother and his two children here for 2, Anne and Matthias for just over 63 hours, and Jerome for a bit more than 4 days. I've been to my fiber arts guild, the Wild West days parade,

farmers market twice, to the big cities for all day shopping, discovered a new garden center, New Era Nursery, visited out at my Amish friends' farm, had one of my beloved hens die unexpectedly, rearranged the remaining furniture here at the farmhouse now that Anne and Matthias have taken their lovely things back to Ohio, gotten my sewing machine back into my "studio", been to the library at least twice each week...

Then there's the garden.... Ah, the garden.

Our weather has suddenly gone from over 90 each day and no rain to speak of to highs in the 70s or low 80s, a spot of rain a couple of times each week, cool crisp nights, and light breezes. The bees have been delirious among my cucumber, squash, pumpkin and eggplant flowers especially. The hummingbirds are everywhere. The garden is positively vibrating.
And I've been trying to keep up.
Yesterday alone:
 another 8 pints of pickled beets,
frozen sweet corn,  absolutely delicious and not a blemish on any ear (the chickens love to peck at the cobs once the corn has been sliced off each ear, though it's a rare treat for them. Corn can pack on too much fat)
and an unexpected bounty.
While Anne was here she spotted the full heads of the shrubs growing along the destroyed barn at the edge of our meadow walk. She brought them to my attention and WHAM! I was hit upside the head by just how you can look and not see day after day.
Hippocrates called elderberries his pharmacy. My good friend Robin, the herbalist, makes an elderberry elixir which is marvelous for cough, cold, flu. And here it was just silently growing unassisted and unnoticed and being devoured by the scores of birds who call the old ravaged barn home. I donned my high boots, waded through tall grass and carefully around the detriits hidden there, and filled a brown paper bag with as many fruit clusters as I could reach. The bowl of berries shown above took me a good 90 minutes to remove from the stems.

Today's order of business is to do something with them.


  1. Apart from the sadness of your hen's departure, it looks as though August has been a wonderful yet hectic month for you. The bi-colour sweetcorn looks delicious. I grew sweetcorn many years ago with the American-Indian idea of growing them alongside pumpkin and cherokee green beans! I love sweetcorn! Look at all those elderberries too! Wouldn't the elderberries make a lovely plant based dye for yarn? I am sure your friend Robin could use them in her hand made soaps too as well as making her elixir. Let us know what you will do with them and keep on enjoying your bountiful harvest!

  2. Whew! What a time you've had, Sharon!! Your garden is amazing and what a great discovery those elderberries were! Like you, I have to count my visits with our daughter by hours, not days, but those hours are precious!
    Glad you have had visits with loved ones and better weather lately!
    Always lovely to see a photo of you, my friend!

  3. Hi!! It seems you're really busy Sharon!!
    Your garden is beautiful and you've got lot of yummi vegetables and fruits! ..I'm curious to see what you're going to do with those elderberries!
    (sorry to hear about your's sad).
    Enjoy your garden and August days!

  4. What a full, full month you've had! Glad I was right about the elderberries, I hope you made something wonderful with them!