The garden makes, we work

It’s the beginning of that time of year again when I spend a fair amount of time and energy putting into some kind of storage a bit of the bounty the gardens produce. I the last week or so, I have made five pints of strawberries freezer jam, eight pints of black currant preserves, started black currant flavored light rum. We have canned eight jars of zucchini relish. I have frozen one quart of pattypan puree. Would you like to see seven sizable pattypans and a few yellow squashes disappear? Cook them down and puree them. I also froze 12 little packets of cilantro.

Yesterday Woody dug our garlic. When it dries, I’ll cut the tops and bottom roots off and divide them by size for hanging in our storeroom. In the meantime, they’re in the gazebo. I also made zucchini soup that we had for supper and that I’ll feed my friend Janet for lunch today. I dried two sachets worth of lavender [I made sachets out of old stockings and the ends of tights] that will go into woolens when I take them out of storage. I need far more for our sweaters, so I hope the lavender plants in my herb bed keep flowering. About ten years ago, we bought a dehydrator from Amazon on sale. It was one of the best purchases we ever made. After stoves stopped having a pilot light in the oven, I had no good way of drying herbs or anything else. A lot of the time, it was too humid and whatever I was trying to dry out got moldy.

I dry some tomatoes every year and give one jar to Dale. I have dried zucchini and I always dry a bunch of herbs. The tomatoes take the longest. I dry only paste tomatoes, not the regular main crops. Since Woody set up the dehydrator last week, I’m concentrating on herbs and lavender. We put the dehydrator away when the fall harvest’s done. Otherwise it sits in the diningroom and most of the time, it’s on this time of year.

I have been writing poems but with the garden, I haven’t had much time to read or get off the land or see people. I’ve been negotiating with Detroit for a few gigs there in the hall. It has only taken 51 emails so far and counting. I’m made an effort this week to end my self imposed isolation, having lunch with Janet on Thursday and going along with Woody to Harwich Friday to have lunch with my good friend Gigi while he’s in the gym. His regular Koko gym was pushed out of Orleans by Spaulding rehab’s expansion and the selectmen there refused Koko a permit to move elsewhere. The new Koko gym is supposed to open in Eastham very soon. That will save Woody a lot of time especially
in summer when it takes twice as long to get anywhere – twice what it does nine months of the year.

Tomorrow morning is the memorial for an old friend, Gloria Nardin Watts. I’d known her since 1973, just a couple of years after I moved to Wellfleet. This morning a woman who I met on a gig and who has recently moved to Wellfleet is coming over. She offered while visiting me to help me in the garden occasionally. This morning she is doing just that. I really appreciate the help as I am behind on what I’d like to get done. I have to divide my free time between working in the gardens or working inside on the produce. As you can see above, recently I’ve mostly with canning, freezing and drying.

We’ve decided to change how we grow rhubarb. When I could kneel, I kept the rhubarb patch weeded. Now I can’t kneel [titanium and plastic knees]. So we’ll move the rhubarb to the main garden this fall where it will be watered and Woody can keep the weeds off it.
Friday was tense. Gigi was 22 minutes late arriving so we had to hustle home. As it turned out the window man was in Trotting Park but thought he’d gone to the wrong house as no one was home. He called right after we got in and we straightened things out. He measured the windows we’re replacing. They’re from 1986 and get used all the time. They’re become impossible to open. There are ten of them! Much money. But we have to do it.

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