from the ground up



One word describes this delicacy.  Easy.

Only three parts to complete this whole.

Seeds.  Soil.  Container.

Okay, maybe five parts, if you add sunshine and water into the equation!

In just over a week, we went from simple sunflower seeds to fat, succulent, juicy sprouts.

Trimmed with scissors, rinsed and tossed in with a little basil-infused olive oil, salt and pepper.  Described as nutty or a bit like a pumpkins’ seed flavor.  My thoughts were quenching and tender.

We shared them with our first visiting guests.  Dinner wouldn’t have been complete without the joyous company and the sprouts didn’t last very long either!

I sourced my sprouting seeds from Johnnys Select Seeds!

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Orchard day.

Slanty sun.

Leaves falling.

Horses munching.

Apple barrels.

Crisp, bright.

Juicy, sweet.

Warm breeze.

Plum picking.

Family chatter.

Plum Butter:

In the evening, fill slow cooker with tiny plums.

Add water to 3/4 full.

Set at low overnight.

In the morning, remove pits with a food mill.

Return pulp to slow cooker.

Add some sugar if desired.

Add steeping bags with cinnamon, cardamon pods, and cloves.

Cook on low until desired consistency reached.

Remove spices. Add splash of vanilla.

Can in jars.

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We have just two apple trees in our yard.  This year, when our main tree gave us this spring display, we knew a BIG apple year was on the way:

Four months later, we’ve harvested over a dozen bushels of apples from this tree.  We managed to get another two bushels off and older, diminishing tree.

Wonderful friends, whose garden we shared with you earlier this summer, kindly loaned us their cider press.  And we got to work!

Our pantry is now stocked with many quarts of beautiful apple juice. It will be a joy to drink warm, on a snowy January day!


Hand to hand.

From your hands to the earth.

From the earth to the roots.

From the roots to the stems.

From the stems to the leaves.

From the leaves to the flowers.

From the flowers to the fruit.

From the fruit to your hands.

From your hands to my hands.

I receive my treasures from hand to hand.

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In the recent explorations of our generous friends garden, there was a certain corner of the garden that kept pulling us in.

Can you imagine why?

The first day we picked and ate and picked and ate.  No berries made it home with us.

The fourth day, we were barely able to save enough raspberries for one batch of freezer jam.

Oh,  how precious it is and how thankful we will be in January, nibbling warm toast and watching the snow fly.

The rest of the berries have been eaten on site or made into several delicious desserts.


Not only were our friends kind enough to share their bountiful raspberry crop with us, they also shared a delicious recipe with us a few years back.


Swedish Cream and Berries

2 1/3 cups cream or half and half

1 cup sugar

1 envelope plain gelatin

1 tsp. vanilla

1 pint sour cream

Mix together cream, sugar and gelatin.  Heat until dissolved. Cool. Gently mix in sour cream and vanilla.  Pour into 8 x 8 baking dish.  Refrigerate.  Serve chilled with berries.

** Use whole milk and fat free sour cream to lighten this up a bit.  I have always wondered about using honey in place of the sugar, but haven’t tried it, yet. **

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In the spirit of summer, I always try to have a glass of this on hand.


Reaching for a handful of fresh herbs, on a quick stroll through the garden, while taking compost out to the pile.

It starts my day with a burst of fragrance, a bit of nostalgia (breath in, oh lavender), and a reminder to drink. Water.  More water.

It feels like a treat, a delicacy and is a token to help cherish these long, hot days of summer.  Most days it is mint and lavender, but then there are the sage and citrus marigold days, and cilantro blossoms are running a close 3rd.

So, we (yes, my glass is often in the hands of another family member, or two…) slow down and drink. Quench.  And toast, with each glassful, to the beauty of summer.