Just Like the Good Old Days

Goldenrod, Joe Pye weed, and Queen Anne’s lace fill meadows that only a few weeks ago held daisies and St John’s Wort. Everyone is cutting hay again for what seems like the sixth time this year. The western fires have buried us in chest burning haze, erasing our bluebird sky and green mountaintops for the time being. I can only imagine how unbearably thick it must feel at ground zero, 3,000 miles from here. The leaves are beginning to change color in small pockets here and there. It actually began a week ago before turning the calendar to August, and is even more prominent now. 



While our winter squash patch continues to recklessly flourish and appears supreme at quick glance, it is fruiting slower than normal and I find myself wondering how substantial this critical-for-us harvest will be. We are drowning in tomatoes and have been harvesting basketfuls from the garden even earlier than was normal for our Connecticut plot. I think this is what I love so much about growing food: the brand new relationship each year to a new hosting of plants that teaches and expands and finds me out there multiple times a day cheering on and encouraging a collection of leaves and fruits in a way that would invite suspicion from a fence-peering neighbor, if I had such a thing. If you stopped by, I would invite you into the garden to unabashedly share in the revelry as well as the trepidations. Just ask the few people that have visited this summer… no shame I tell you. I guess it never gets old that a couple handfuls of seed (and a pile of potatoes) bears enough fruit to sustain us and others. 



On Friday my husband picked up our yearly two bushels of peaches from a formerly local to us farm, and I am about to embark on my annual Peach Week, preserving these beauties in a myriad of ways, culminating in a fresh peach galette to welcome our daughter home for a much needed visit. Even more than the peaches, I value the farmer who grows them telling my husband that while recently in the orchard noticing things were near peak, and he thought to himself: These are looking so good; it’s time to get Adam his peaches! After many years, our exchange is ritual at this point. I used to pick them up myself, but he knows we’ve moved and our new routine looks like me calling in early august to check in on the crop and reserve our desired share, and he helps us time it just right so my husband can pick them up as he departs from his workdays in Connecticut and heads home to Vermont. This farmer even does us the courtesy of picking them a touch prior to perfect ripeness as he knows the journey they’ll take and that I’ll need a few days to work through processing them all. Staggered ripeness is so helpful to me, as is laying them all out single layer as soon as they arrive to prevent bruising and uneven ripening. I’m a stickler for peach handling and feel it pays off to take such care. 


I hope your garden is overflowing and any necessary crops are secured with farmers who are able to fill in your gaps. A farmer that can look you in the eye and say “see you next year” as you depart. Who knows, maybe soon we’ll even return to sealing the deal with a handshake, just like the good old days. 

14 Responses

  1. I also love coming back here and reading your blog…just like the good old days 🙂

  2. Same. I actually was looking for the old Unplugged Sundays blog the other day and kinda took a deep dive into that great period when everyone was blogging regularly. I miss these kinds of posts so much.
    And autumn—I’m seeing tinges here in Texas, too, but not as much as you are.

  3. Thank you for blogging Heather, it’s the same here in Danville, Québec autumn is coming soon, there is something in the air and in the light that have changed about a week ago. Bonne fin d’été!

  4. No garden for us this year, but we are relying every week on our Farmer’s Markets in our new State of Ohio (we just moved back “to home” after a 15 year stint in the east).
    Yes, just like the good ‘ole days of eating fresh things straight from the garden!
    And look how tall those Sunflowers are!

  5. Nothing so visible as leaves changing down here, but the other day there was a breath of a breeze that felt almost fall-ish, just for a moment. We’re nowhere done with the crazy heat of summer yet, but it was a nice reminder that it’ll be fall eventually.

  6. As I read this, I am processing the 2nd of 3 batches of peaches. I picked up 2 lugs on Saturday and gifted ds2’s family with 6-8 for fresh eating. The canned pints will help supplement their pantry. Also in both of our kitchens, green beans and tomatoes! I won’t be canning tomatoes until I get a box or two later in the season from growers. I down-sized to 2 plants for fresh eating this year. The green beans were from the farmer’s market and I’ll be eating them steamed this week.
    I’ve been seeing a few yellow leaves on the cottonwoods for the past week (just a few) and the soybean fields are starting to show where the poor ground is as those spots will ripen first. In a month it will feel like fall. Just a few more weeks. 🙂

  7. I find it incredible how different each gardening year is. I’ve been gardening here in Northern Utah for three years now and each year has brought different weather and different growing conditions. Last year we had tomatoes coming out our ears by mid July. Now this year in August they are just rolling in. The squash this year has been off the hook where as last year it was a trickle. For some reason this year blackberries have been prolific. I’ve been freezing gallon bags of them every two days.
    Also the strangest thing, with the drought fall has arrived early. We started seeing leaf color about two weeks ago at the end of July even in high country. And this morning it felt like autumn had rolled in. The light has changed and chill was in the air.

  8. SO different from year to year. I’ve missed you! Glad to hear from you again. I owe you an email… will get to it next week, my daughter is here visiting this week so I’m a little behind on correspondence. xo

  9. For you vitamix sauce…just raw tomatoes in the blender, and then into a pot to cook? Do you add any seasonings or other veggies? Your salsa recipes continues to be a family favourite that I can every year. Thanks again!