Early Harvest

It is late July and the early harvest is going in earnest now. For weeks our gardens have provided us rhubarb, asparagus, chives, butter lettuce, currants and strawberries, and the meadows have provided wild dandelion blossoms and other delicious herbs most do not know, such as cattails. Now our rafters are hung with medicinal and flavorful yarrow, good for injuries, cooking and homemade ale, as well as various culinary herbs from Daphne’s raised herb garden. The garden, divided up into eleven large sections plus fruit groves, is yielding Swiss chard from the Old Garden and turnips from the New Garden. Nearly 100 tomato plants are almost a meter high and in full blossom, and hundreds of snow peas are already beckoning to be picked over. Night and day the girls and I work the gardens, harvesting and preseving. We grow only organic, non-genetically modified produce–and it feels good to know our daughters . . . well, everyone, really . . . is eating healthy. There has been little rain this year–unusual for this wet Maritime province–but our deep wells, ponds and fortuitous springs keep the gardens hale. Compost provided by our livestock keeps the soil loamy and fertile. And once again the Green Man and the little Earth spirits have kept our gardens virtually free of pests. I feel it will be a record harvest for us this year, and soon it will be time to set out the faerie plates in thanks to the spirits who look so kindly after the land we share with them.

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