Travel Journal 3: The Monastary Garden

The monastery near the Roman-Gaulish ruins had a beautiful garden we explored. It was large and diverse, with large rose beds first, and tall trellises for climbing roses. There were so many lovely colors and shapes, including a violet rose. Beyond this were the most beautiful flower beds planted according to color in geometric patterns….

Travel Journal 2

The afternoon of the second day, the sun is low and after the heroic walk up to the ruins a soak in the ocean sounds appealing, so we go to the beach. It isn’t as good as the Florida beaches. There’s no sand, only rocks that slide and hurt your feet so you have to…

Travel Journal #1

Long flight in very small seats wedged between knees and elbows of the teenager and old lady who only spoke Danish. We coasted into Nice in time for the sunset. Teenager is staying separate in boys hostel dormitory for the first time. He says he hardly slept between the snoring and the stench of farts….

A Parting

A quick walk through the garden this morning….  This was my most beautiful summer garden, full to the brim with flowers and herbs, rambling vines, beautiful fruits, sweet corn and sorghum, sweet potatoes and cassava.  It is at the turning point, when the sunflowers have started to shrivel up and it becomes jungly. In this…

Six Cooling Herbal Drinks For Hot Weather

Summer has set in. The days are long and so hot the wind feels like the air from a baking oven on my face, and the grass looks like uncut hay, all shriveled and dried in the pasture.  It has been days and days of dry, bright sunshine over 100 F. The ticks and yellow…

Chicken and Parsley Root with Pesto and Pink Peppercorns

For several weeks now i have been hearing the scream of a chicken in the night, whereupon i climb down the loft and rush outside, holding aloft a dim little lantern like the Statue of Liberty to where the dogs are already silently loping through the darkness. Nothing has been discovered until morning, and only…

May Roses

The roses are blooming, the queen of any garden. The goats had eaten all but one of my roses i started many years ago from cuttings, and just this spring i bought new bare root plants to replace them, and it is wonderful to see them bloom for the first time, all different beautiful pinks….

Harvest

This year has lacked a dry season, making the pastures already green and beautiful and filled with flowers.  Walking through the cow-paths, the starry Erigeron flowers swirl past in a green galaxy of grass. It isn’t the usual hot, blue, open skies of May, but chased all over with piled up clouds shadowed with silver…

Poppies

The poppies are the scarlet beauties of the garden right now.  The legion poppies have been blooming the longest, but every week a new kind is blooming, delighting us with new colors and shapes.   They are so proud and bold among the grass, yet so delicate with their ruffled petals like fine silk that glows…

Goat Stew with Parsnips and Raisins

More than a week ago now i woke up to a grim grey sky. I started the chores right away, hoping to be inside by Calcifer when the rain started. Things went quickly, despite the usual difficulties of the brooder lamp flickering out for the little ducks, and wading awkwardly through the 100 little meat…

Easter

This was the first year we were able to dye eggs with all home grown dyes: turmeric, beets, red Brussels sprouts leaves, mulberries and spiderwort flowers.  The natural dyes are so subtle and beautiful. They blend in beautifully with nature and are really hard to find.  I woke up early to cut dewy grass and…