Thursday, August 29, 2013


This summer I began a job at a 5 acre home garden in nearby Maryland. Various LGP (Longwood Graduate Program) grad students have worked in the garden over the past decade and the owner is convinced it is collaborative nature of the job being passed down from student to student that makes the garden so unique.

I started in the heat wave of July with weeding and mulching. Then I tried to dig up, separate and replant a large clump of Day Lillies.  These seem to have been there since the land was a farm, 100 years ago,  and so after about an hour or so, I was a little defeated. The Day Lily is certainly the most tangible example of "Steadfastness" that I have ever encountered.

On numerous occasions this summer, I've run into my old nemesis: Poison Ivy.  After a short stare down with the shiny devil, I always back away slowly.  For now, the nasty little vine is winning in the ground cover department but at least it isn't covering my skin too!

In between the Poison Ivy and the heat, I ran across some interesting Fungi co-habitating with the Termites in the mulch pile.  The same day I began digging up a clump of eager Black-eyed Susans only to realize that they were covering the home of some very possessive Ground Bees. A few minutes after that I unknowingly got myself into a losing battle with two angry Yellow Jackets...At least, I discovered, I'm not allergic to bee stings...

Now the heat wave has essentially ended and each week there is less humidity.  This week there was a special scent on the breeze. After weeks of anticipation, finally the figs were ripe.  The buzzing of the wasps and bees around the tree confirmed it. It took a little finesse to avoid a showdown with them but I can't think of a better way to end the day than harvesting figs. We collected a few pounds and then I planned an impromptu dinner party to celebrate.  The evening was marked by abundance.  The sweet aromas of roasted figs and goat cheese toasts, not to mention a delicious yet sneaky little Sangria, were the perfect hint at the beginning of the end of the summer.

In Evie's garden the opportunity to work that is exciting, and though sometimes it's difficult work, it is the opportunity to share--the Harvest, the recipes, the ideas and the time, that are most remarkable.

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