The more help a man has in his garden, the less it belongs to him. -William M. Davies
All but one farmer has arrived. Seth and Emilee have been here four full days and Ben is working on his second. I have quickly realized that the daily journal should happen daily. The days are quite a bit more interesting with farmers around.
[Emilee, Ben and Seth fish the pond]
Seth and Emilee arrived road weary and farm ready on Thursday night. My brother also flew in for the long weekend and it was fun to introduce the two parties… Brother and Farmers! We took a quick tour around the garden, made a haphazard, non-local dinner, and fell into bed.
In the wee hours of Friday morning, we harvested! Mostly basil and squash. (I have a feeling we’ll all have our fill of squash by the end of July) Then, with an early morning sweat still on our brows, we drove to neighboring Conway. We brought five basil bouquets, 7.5 lbs of squash, and a healthy bunch of arugula to Oak Street Bistro, a lovely local eatery. We haggled over dollars and cents and made the sale. $35 never felt so good.
Still missing two farmers, we opted out of selling at Saturday’s farmers market and attended as shoppers. And so we begin our 100% local diet. To supplement the garden harvest, we bought local meat, peaches, milk, flour, wheat berries, and beans. Seth was mostly excited about the beef, I was most excited about the mung beans. Hah.
Ben arrived Sunday night. Seth and Emilee caught bream and small-mouth bass from the pond and we fried it with some garden squash. Fresh caught fish with local corn, and a gigantic arugala salad. My oh my.
One would think that this so-called limited diet would make things difficult come dinner time. Not so. We have been eating like kings and queens. We giggle every time we sit down to yet another bountiful meal. Here is yesterday’s breakfast of jalepeno sausage, hash browns, corn bread and peaches. It was a Monday even!
In the early stages of the Garden Summer, I had decided on three fundamentals that we could buy non-local… coffee, alcoholic beverages, and chocolate. We have unanimously decided to substitute chocolate for cooking oil in the non-local essentials. No chocolate for a whole month? Child’s play. We’ve even discovered a local coffee roaster and a Little Rock brewery. Not to mention the impressive brew kit Emilee hauled from Charleston.
With all these rich, whole food ingredients, meals become very exciting. We talk about meals hours in advance, cook together, and make quite an event of it all with flowers and a beautifully set table. I like it.
The garden is lovely. I can hardly remember the hot 9 hour days of early June. Many hands make light the work! Isn’t the the truth. (read as a statement) Aside from a little TLC to the struggling plants and some light watering, garden work has been a breeze. We’ve even had RAIN!
The spare hours of the day have been glorious: fishing, guitar, water skiing, bikes, and a lot of porch time. This is Seth after a mid-morning corn-shucking.
This evening we pick up Marie. And so it begins. We will drive straight from the airport to our local country store to milk some goats. Loving this garden summer.
Here are some photos….
[post nap on the porch]
[Ben’s first fish. Ever]
[Emilee. Ready for battle]
More very soon.