Mulberries, mulberries, mulberries! There are trees and bushes everywhere covered in purple, red and white berries! Nathan and I went for a walk the other day down our gravel road and spotted three bushes loaded with mulberries within a half mile distance from our house. In the spirit of foraging, I also noted the pretty pink petals of a wild prairie rose, orange lilies, the sweet fragrance of milkweed, wild asparagus going to seed, elderberry bushes and wild parsnips.
Natalie hit another milestone this week: rolling over! Nathan and I were playing on the floor with her for “tummy time” when I looked away to grab a toy on the couch. I glanced back and she was on her back! I said, “Hey! That’s not how I left you!” So sure enough she is learning how to get around and throws her self over from her stomach first with her shoulders and then lays in a twisted yoga stretch until her hips follow along. A few days after that she rolled from her back to her stomach. She is on the move, people! Watch out!
Nathan and I are harvesting snap peas and shell peas. Saturday night we made Hawaiian Burgers with a side of fresh peas. Man those are like little drops of gold! The bags of frozen peas in the store pale in comparison to the superb flavor of fresh shell peas! I dropped a small tupperware of peas on the floor and nearly cried because they are THAT good! So, if you go to a Farmer’s Market or Natural Foods Co-op or have a friendly neighbor who grow them, get some! And get more than you think, because you’ll want more after you have your first taste! I just bring a small pan of water to a boil, throw the peas in and set the timer on 4 minutes and drain the water. Don’t overcook them! Beets and carrots are ready, while the romaine is almost ready to go to seed in this warm weather. The green beans are loaded with blossoms and tiny beans. I can’t wait! The cabbages have small heads and the melons are LOVING all this rain. The muskmelon, watermelon and pumpkins are loaded with yellow blossoms! This might finally be a good year for melons! I read in a magazine an idea about having a watermelon bar with various salt mixtures, taking a cue from the sweet-and-salty trend in the food world. I might try it!
In the meantime I made a strawberry-rhubarb pie and I wanted to eat the whole thing, but I showed some restraint and ate two pieces instead. I hope to pick enough mulberries to make an entire pie as well as freeze some. In the next few weeks we will have blueberries, cherries and peaches to eat and preserve! It will be a busy time!
Nathan, Natalie and I visit and play with the six kittens everyday. We have some really creative names: Smokey 1, Smokey 2, Orange, Bowtie, Midnight and Socks. Aren’t you impressed? Three of them are for sale, if anyone is interested!
Nathan just got fitted for a tuxedo since he is to be the Ringbearer in our niece’s wedding. He will look SO cute! He had fun playing with his cousins at a Splash Pad before the fitting and I treated him to a blueberry bagel and myself to an iced coffee. He is stringing words together into sentences and adding big words like ‘teriyaki’, ‘Protandim’ (a vitamin supplement Dan is taking), and ‘tuxedo’ to his vocabulary!
Speaking of Dan I’ll give a little update about his hearing situation. He is not wearing a hearing aid because the ENT Doctor is optimistic more of his hearing might return and the aid would interfere with any improvement. They usually recommend 6 mos. to a year to wait for the hearing to stabilize. So in the meantime he is taking a natural supplement called Protandim nrf2. It’s fairly new to the market and since it’s all herbs, there’s really no downside. Dan said after a month he’s already noticed that the trouble he had with his balance and feeling dizzy or like his head is “swimming” has disappeared and he has more energy! So no complaints about that! His next appointment isn’t for six months. There hasn’t been additional hearing improvement….yet.
Happy 4th of July! And that’s the news from this Splash-pad-and-rolling-over week on the farm!