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In the Garden

The garden behind the little house had been growing all summer. It was so near the house that the deer did not jump the fence and eat the vegetables in the daytime, and at night Jack kept them away. Sometimes in the morning there were little hoof-prints among the carrots and the cabbages. But Jack's tracks were there, too, and the deer had jumped right out again.

Now the potatoes and carrots, the beets and turnips and cabbages were gathered and stored in the cellar, for freezing nights had come. Onions were made into long ropes, braided together by their tops, and then were hung in the attic beside wreaths of red peppers strung on threads. The pumpkins and the squashes were piled in orange and yellow and green heaps in the attic's corners. The barrels of salted fish were in the pantry, and yellow cheeses were stacked on the pantry shelves. . .

The attic was a lovely place to play. The large, round, colored pumpkins made beautiful chairs and tables. The red peppers and the onions dangled overhead. The hams and the venison hung in, their paper wrappings, and all the bunches of dried herbs, the spicy herbs for cooking and the bitter herbs for medicine, gave the place a dusty-spicy smell.

~Little House in the Big Woods :: Laura Ingalls Wilder

DSC_2558.JPGWe harvested the pumpkins last week. It was an exciting evening, for sure.  I cut them off, along with the acorn squashes, and the children loaded them into the cart.  We rolled it up to the back porch and they carried them up the stairs.  Heavy things are good for sensory integration, so they were very pleased with their strength and so happy.  I gave Roan and Willow washcloths and they set to polishing all the pumpkins and squashes.  A couple more wait on the vine, but the rest fill up one side of the play stands, Willow's store room.  Butternut squashes filter through the house, rolling here and there as Laurel totes them around.

The garden is slowing down and beginning to get drowsy these days.  Tomatoes are still coming along, and I think they will for awhile longer.  We are making the most of the heat from the bricks on the side of our house, in addition to the sun that has started to linger longer on that side.  Our house faces very nearly East-West, and we get a bit more sun on the South side in the cooler months.  Basil still needs harvesting to be made into pesto.  There's also that late lettuce I've wanted to plant.  Our grape vines are doing well and the children picked a whole bowl yesterday and made their own grape juice.  I have optimism for next year, though they badly need a trellis to grow on.

The onions have been partially picked and need to be strung, mainly for the enjoyment of the children.  The carrots are still waiting, though I may send them out to pick a few today.  I think it is important they see and do things like this.  We have no way of knowing where our lives will take us and it is the most basic skills that will carry us through many challenging days.  You might not use that calculus class, but caring for a home and garden will always serve a person.  More apple pie filling and apple sauce await me today.  And a big vat of turkey broth.  I like making vats of things.  Feels so secure and self-sufficient.  Time to stock up on more canning lids and freezer containers!


( 1 tree — Plant a Forest )
Aug. 28th, 2015 08:29 pm (UTC)
What a lovely post and picture. That particular passage from Little House is one of my very favorites.
( 1 tree — Plant a Forest )

A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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