Summer is here.
Organic Blackberries are on sale at Stanley's for less than a dollar and the farmers market vendors are starting sell their CSA shares. If you are not familiar with a CSA, I will elaborate a little. CSA stands for Community Sustained Agriculture. Essentially, you are paying upfront for a few months worth of local, delicious, in season produce. Some farms offer just veggies, other offer veggies, fruits, even dairy products or honey. (p.s. honey from an area really close to you is great if you have trouble with allergies in the spring, if you use it during the winter it can help you build up a tolerance to the pollen and other allergens) I am really hoping to be able to get involved with one this year. They are pretty expensive up front, around $400 dollars for the season (until fall) but when I think about it, I may be paying about the same for produce at Whole foods and/or Stanley's for the same amount of food, maybe even more money.
It comes down to priorities, and creativity I think.
Today was about 90 degrees, but the humidity made it feel much hotter. Julian seems to have inherited my distain for being hot, he was pretty fussy and cranky all day. I put some blueberries in the freezer for a little while to get them nice and cold and let him snack on them, that seemed to help a bit. We don't have ac in our cute little over a hundred years old apartment. Well, Julian has a window unit in his room, his closet under the stairs, that we turn on at night, We can't have two window units going at the same time, for one, its a lot of energy to run those suckers and I feel guilty. The second reason is that even if I got over this whole sense of guilt for turing the window unit on, and actually plugged it in, it would trip the circuits and make our power go out. This is the secret trade off you get when you search "vintage" on craigslist while looking for apartments, no one reminds you of that little fact. I think I am turning into my high school best friend's mother, who bakes cookies on the grill in the summer time so she doesn't make the house any hotter. I am totally ok with that, she is an awesome lady.
So, for most of the afternoon I sat in the back yard with my feet in a pot of cold water spraying Julian, (and the plants) with the hose. I was trying to decide which was more wasteful, playing in the hose, or turning on the a.c. Maybe that's a little too analytical and deep, but I was having crazy flashbacks to little girls in dirty old dresses carrying jerry cans of dirty old water up a mountain barefoot in Uganda. It's just crazy sometimes, having a child has even changed the way I remember things, my perspective on the things that have so deeply impacted me. I told myself It was mostly for the plants, mostly for the kale.
Speaking of plants. The garden is coming along nicely. I regret planting the red lettuce. We don't eat it....so its just sort of taking up space. Im thinking about removing them all together and putting something else there come late summer, most likely more kale, since I have a serious obsession with kale. Did I tell you how much I love kale? Mostly sauteed with garlic and shallots....splash of white wine...oh dear. The bunnies came and ate some of my kale (none of the red lettuce!?) and I was pretty sad about it, but I figured that maybe the bunnies were really hungry, or maybe the bunnies love kale just as much as I do. I don't blame them. The swiss chard is coming up a bit now too, I thought it wasn't going to make it. I am really excited about the purple wax beans. They all sprouted up big and strong. The butternut squash seem to be doing really well too, they grow really fast, which is rewarding to see. The Thai basil has pretty little dark purple, fragrant flowers budding and the mystery plant has bloomed into gorgeous violet flowers as well. I still have no idea what it is..
Despite that fact that I hate being hot, I am going to try to enjoy the summer. One of my favorite books is called A Severe Mercy, and one of the themes of the book is "the heights and the depths". In the book the author talks about the heights and depths of love mostly, and of faith, but I am going to try and embrace the heights and depths of living with seasonal intentions (haha). Delightfully chilly October wouldn't be so wonderful if June wasn't as miserably hot and humid. So to busy myself I will be attempting to learn to preserve fruits and jams, my mom just got a free pressure canner off of freecycle (whoa wait what?! When did she learn to use the interwebz?! Wait, mom, YOU HAVE A BLOG?! You have had a blog for five years?!? Here is my mom's blog, that I did not know existed...MY MOMS BLOG?!) and Id love to make some tomato sauce to save for the winter.....to use with my winter crop of kale and maybe some home made pasta. What are your summer plans? Do you hate summer as much as I try not too?
Thanks for reading.