Tuesday, August 27, 2013

... To My Heart's Content

I love this time of year. August is just the BEST month for local foods here in Maine, and it's the month when there is the greatest variety of FRESH fruits. Early apples are starting to ripen, peaches and melons are available at the farm stands, and blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are making their final stands. Ahh! The bounty!

It's also when other vegetables are starting to ripen in the garden. The summer favorites like zucchini, tomatoes and peppers ... and sweet corn!

I'm feeling full just thinking about it.

My girls had dental appointments this morning, and we stopped at the farm stand downtown on our way home. So much food! I probably spent more than I should have (especially considering that we also have a lot of food ready to pick in the garden), but it's just so good. I stopped, because they have melons, which we just don't have the room to grow here on the nanofarm, but I always end up getting other stuff, too ... whether I need it or not ... like the bag of apples.

We came home, and I made hash-browned potatoes (from our garden) and eggs (from our chickens) with sliced tomatoes and melon wedges (from the farm stand ... what? they were cute, little tomatoes!).

In addition to the garden and farm bounty, Mother Nature is being incredibly generous this time of year. We drove to Bangor this weekend to attend the Folk Music Festival. We bought food from a vendor, and then, while looking for a place to sit so that we could eat our lunch, we found an apple tree. We sat on the grass in the shade and had apples for dessert.

I can't imagine being hungry at this time of year. There is so much food around me that sometimes it's too much.

Which, I think, makes it very important to be thankful for the bounty, and always remember, eat a little and save a little for the future.

Last night, I made chicken stew with dumplings (I really like dumplings!). With the exception of the dumplings (which were homemade by Big Little Sister), everything in the stew was from our yard and included chicken, potatoes, carrots, turnips and kale.

Little Fire Faery picked the turnips, and I had her wash the greens and put them into the dehydrator.

The goal every year is always to store more and depend less on the grocery store than we did the year before, and while we're not making very huge strides with our canning endeavors so far, we have managed to store a boatload of greens, dehydrated and waiting to be added to our winter soups and stews.

And in the meantime, we are very much enjoying the feeling of our bellies being full of fresh stuff from the bounty of our home garden and the local farmers.

Speaking of which ... I should head over to the butcher and pick up the ten frozen chickens he has waiting for us - those last few were smaller than usual, but they'll still keep us fed through what the Farmer's Almanac is saying will be a worse winter (more snow and bitter cold) than we've seen for the past few years.


  1. They ARE cute little tomatoes! I'm usually exhausted by all the weeding and harvesting so that preserving seems like the last straw that will actually kill me... but I keep doing it, as you say, a little more each year.

    Tell me about the farmer's almanac? I have heard of them, but never seen one. Is there any rhyme or reason in their predictions? Or is it like a roulette wheel for farmers (well, all farming is a gamble, I guess)?

  2. They're not entirely accurate all of the time, but they do have a pretty good track record, which is why they're still around after all of these years.

    In 2012, they predicted a warmer than average, very wet winter for my area, and as I recall, we didn't get a lot of snow that year, and it was a really short maple sugaring season, because it got too warm, too fast. So, it seems, for that year, at least, they were correct. http://www.farmersalmanac.com/weather/2011/08/29/2012-us-winter-forecast/

    I read about their methods once, a while back, and they use a combination of ways of predicting the weather - some of it pretty logical and some of it pretty far-fetched. You can check out their website for more info: http://www.farmersalmanac.com/