Tag Archives: Edible

From One Farmhouse to Another—and A Foggy Morning Walkabout

I am, quite famously, a homebody. For years I had to travel a good deal in my job, but I never really loved it. I was born under the sign of Cancer (with a rising Cancer moon) so I am all about hanging out in my shell, well-fed (of-course), and warm and cozy. If I do go somewhere, I like to stay for a while. It was such a big deal for me to come spend a few months on the Vineyard five years ago that I never left! These days, there are just a couple places—and people—that can pull me off this rock.

One of those places is York, Maine. And one of those people is my best friend Eliza. Who happens to live in York. And there just happens to be a cooking school in York at the famous Stonewall Kitchen complex, and every year they ask me to come teach a couple classes. (Last weekend was my annual trip.) Truthfully, as a cookbook author, I am required to do some travel to promote my books. So I always say yes to Stonewall Kitchen because it means I get to go see Eliza, her husband Chip, her kids Nathalie, Katie, and James—and, Double Bonus Points—our other childhood best friend, Liz Gray, who lives in Maine as well.

Though it’s not just my friends who make me feel so comfortable in York. There is a place—Eliza’s grandmother’s house, which has now passed on to the grandchildren—that I visited almost every summer as a kid. It hasn’t changed at all in the 50 years I’ve known it (except that it is very well-maintained) and my memories are extraordinarily vivid of the happy times I spent there with Eliza and her family—in the house, in the barn, in the fields out back. Old foundations, an old cemetery, a vegetable garden. And my first encounter ever with a rhubarb plant. I remember the rhubarb at Grandma’s house so enthusiastically that I had to go back and take pictures of it last weekend. Eliza’s father Jim told me he thinks it was probably planted in 1932.

For some reason (many reasons probably), during all the years I worked and lived in cities and suburbs, I held Grandma’s house in my fantasies as the ideal home. I always wanted to live in a farm house. I think that’s why I fell in love with our little place as soon as I saw it (even though it is teeny and rustic)—it just felt familiar. Or at least felt like a place this little crab would want to find shelter in. It had lilacs, an old stone foundation, a giant maple tree and rolling fields. But no rhubarb! I thought every farm house had at least one rhubarb plant, but what might have been here is now gone. We resorted to planting our own and have been busy trying to kill it ever since. Most recently Roy rototilled right over the dormant plants. Miraculously, they are up and thriving.


Amazingly, I woke up at 6:18 this morning, my body finally adjusting to the seasonal farm schedule I will need to keep. Thinking about how much I love this place and looking at the dense fog outside, I grabbed my camera and did a walkabout, just like Eliza and I used to do as kids in Maine.


First, I went out to the fields behind us. Roy is all excited about his mower attachment for the tractor and he’s been making us hay mulch for the garden—yay! I checked on the chickens. I imagined the field with 300 more chickens (they’re coming next week), and saw the progress Roy is making on new coops.

Along the way, I encountered some wild creatures. Pepe Le Pew was waiting for me at the far compost pile. Tom Turkey was busy trying to catch himself a hen. The black shadowy figure in the mist was Farm Dog himself.

Next, I checked on progress in the garden. Peas thriving. Lettuce waiting for me to harvest. Potatoes sprouting. Radishes harvested.

We’ve been working  hard. Blueberries are pruned and mulched. Perennial and herb beds tidied up. Garden beds tilled and planted one by one, paths weeded, transplants in transit. We even have our first cosmos from the plants I started months ago inside.

It’s lovely here—now if we just had a big barn like Grandma’s! (Well, a house like hers would be nice, too.) But there is one thing we have that Grandma’s doesn’t—a farm stand. Here’s a sneak peek at our new farm stand structure—more on this soon!






Pretty in Purple—Pak Choi for the Plate and Palate

It’s only May 1 and already we may have grown the prettiest vegetable we’ll see all season. (You can remind me I’ve said this when I start waxing on about peas and cherry tomatoes and Fairy Tale eggplants.) But honestly, this little purple pac choi (aka bok choy) is simply stunning. We can’t keep it at the farm stand for a minute, and I’m hoping I’ll get another round transplanted before it gets too hot. If you’re interested in growing this ethereal veggie (sweet, crunchy, tangy and light), you can still order seeds from Fedco and plant it in the fall.

Me, I think I’d better start eating more of the stuff. The purple color is the result of anthocyanins, which supposedly improve memory. I could use that, since I  completely forgot to make time for the blog post this week (a lot of farm work going on around here!) and now I am off to Maine to teach two classes at the fabulous Stonewall Kitchen this weekend. Wish you could all be there to join me!

Small Wonder: Spring on Green Island Farm

I was heading out to the farm stand with this bowl of radishes the other day when a friend intercepted me and bought one bunch straight out of the dish. After that, I rushed in to get the camera before the next bunch disappeared (which it did, very shortly thereafter.) I don’t blame these folks for snatching up the radishes—honestly, is there a cheerier harbinger of spring? Well, I guess you could name quite a few things (flowering trees, singing birds, green grass), but in the vegetable world, radishes are as cheery as it gets. And thanks to the hoop house, I’ve got radishes in April—yippee!

I am celebrating the small stuff all around the farm today as it happens to be warm and sunny, and I was beginning to think “warm and sunny” was some mirage I’d never quite reach. (I should say it is “warmish” here—high 50s.) On Monday it blew so hard that the latch on the gate to the big chicken pen popped open (which it hasn’t done in previous storms) and all of the 200 chickens in it went for a walkabout—over to the neighbor’s woods, through a pine grove, around the future pig pen, and just generally anywhere they could disappear. It took us the better part of the day to get them all back in. Argh. Not to be snide, but I have to say that one of the things I am celebrating today is no wind—and chickens happily back in their pen.

Also, this morning I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Finding Your Soul, and in his post today, “Everything We Need Is Right Here,” David Anderson talks about all the wonder that’s right in front of our eyes while we’re off seeking something better somewhere else. So I thought to take the camera and snap a few other things I’m marveling at now that spring is actually coming to Green Island Farm.

Chartreuse maple flowers unfurling on bare branches against a Carolina blue sky.


Big fat healthy tomato plants in the greenhouse. We started our “early” tomatoes in February and have managed to bring them along nicely, letting them hang out in the hoop house by day and stay snug inside the house at night.


Copious amounts of bok choy to sell at the farm stand. We grew the first batch in the hoop house. Batches 2 and 3 (including the pretty purple stuff) are coming along in a long raised bed outside the hoop house (where the early tomatoes will be transplanted in a few weeks.) Get some of this delicious veggie into your kitchen soon–here’s one recipe idea (a stir-fry; my friend Joannie says this is the best!) and here’s another (my friend Eliza’s favorite–Spicy Noodle Hot Pot!).



The pea plants germinated beautifully and are ready to come out from under cover, where they’ve been hiding from the birds.


Basil seedlings are healthy and we have hundreds of them!


Beautiful Pirat Butterhead lettuce is “too pretty to cut” my friend Mary says. Alas, I’ve already tucked into it and pulled heads for the farm stand.


Last year’s everbearing strawberry plants already have blossoms.


And yes, the grass is green. I know, I know but this is a big deal to me. We’ve been looking at mud for months. This is the pine grove at one end of our back field, where Farmer and I go for walks.

And when it comes to being excited about springtime and fresh grass, no one’s happier than Farmer. We’ll be walking along and all of a sudden he just gets down and does a roly-poly in the grass. He stands back up, shakes, and then skips off, happy as can be. We should all be so carefree. Maybe if your day isn’t going so well, you could try rolling in the warm grass!





Flowers for Boston

The problem with working at home is that you can keep the television news on all day. This isn’t something I normally do, but considering there is a massive manhunt going on in Boston right now, I guess I can let myself off the hook a little bit.

It’s not like I don’t have a major deadline coming up, which should have me tied to my desk. Even with that, I managed to turn a few necessary hours of harvesting, washing, and watering into an entire morning of activity, partly because I kept going in and out to check the news and partly because I got distracted and took my camera outside.

Walking with Farmer in the early morning fog, the day felt as surreal as the world feels right now. Yet the fog felt strangely comforting, too, like a cocoon or a veil. A shield from evil. I wanted to capture that feeling in a photo, but the fog had mostly lifted by the time I got Farmer back in and my camera out.

Instead, I grabbed the white daffodils I had cut in the maple grove the other day and took them outside. They are remarkably beautiful in their varying shades of white. I’ve always had a thing for white, and white-on-white, and I collected white ironstone pottery for many years. The daffodils wound up in a pitcher which I still have hanging around, one that wasn’t quite the right shape for the flowers, but was there when I needed it.

My sister Eleanor has one just like it. We both like white. White tee shirts. White pottery. White flowers.

Eleanor was at mile 25.5 on Monday, running her second Boston Marathon, when a policeman appeared. She was literally in the first line of runners stopped—for a fleeting minute she watched the runners in front of her continue on, wishing that had been her. She had suffered a bad leg cramp in the last two miles, falling behind her expected finished time by several minutes. As it turns out, that delay was lucky for her. Even more fortunate, her friends who had traveled from Washington to cheer her on had moved a couple blocks down from the finish line to get a better picture of her coming around the corner.

When I finally got to talk to Eleanor, she was very calm and mostly so relieved that her friends were fine. She was never in danger, she said.

I know that, but I had to explain to her the feeling that came over me—only for a brief moment—that was a feeling I’ve never had.

I had been following her run on the BAA (Boston Athletic Association) website; the computerized tracking map shows a little red animated runner icon moving along the route. You can also click on a details chart to see the runner’s times at every 5K interval. Around 3 pm, I kept coming inside to see if she had finished, but the little runner icon was stuck running in place at a spot right before the finish, and the last updated time was at 40K. Ten minutes went by, then 20, then 25, and the icon was still stuck. I began to wonder why she hadn’t finished; I was worrying that she might have hurt herself when a Facebook message from a friend popped up on my screen: “Is your sister okay?” What?! What does my friend know about my sister that I don’t?

Not yet knowing about the explosions, I had visions of something so terrible having happened to Eleanor that her face was on the news! Right then Roy called from the ferry, on his way back from dropping Libby off in Falmouth. (At one point I had considered taking Libby up to watch Eleanor run.) He was watching the television on the boat and told me the news. Another wave of a different kind of anxiety came over me.

From that point I tried to find out when the bombs had gone off in relation to when Eleanor was supposed to finish. I didn’t know my father was doing the same thing and getting very uncomfortable at the closeness of the times. My poor Dad! Some very nice runners at the DC Runners Club Facebook page were the first to let me know that they didn’t think, looking at her “splits,” that she could have been at the finish when the bombs went off.

And one of Eleanor’s friends managed to get a text message to a friend in Baltimore to call my parents in Washington. By 4:30 we knew for sure that she was safe.


My big sister. My only sister. Selfishly, I didn’t want anything to happen to her, and that’s all I could think about until I knew she was safe. I’ve always just taken for granted that she’d be right up ahead of me, leading the way.

I’ve been just a little off kilter all week, even though I only got knocked around for an hour or so. I think it’s because my relief was immediately replaced by horror and disbelief at the senseless and brutal injuries and killings. I just have trouble understanding why some people value life so little, and how anyone can intentionally inflict this kind of violence on children. This tragedy comes so close on the heels of the Newtown shootings, too, and I don’t think I’ve completely processed that, either.

I know there is evil in the world, and that good will always overcome. And that now is the time to infuse the world with love and beauty—white daffodils for all, I say! And I guess what I have to do is accept that there are some things I won’t ever completely understand. I envy my sister her resolve to return to the Boston Marathon next year (she has already qualified). I guess I will follow her lead and not let the bad guys get the last word.


Post Script: Farm chores took me away from the computer long enough that I am just now posting this blog, just as the manhunt is ending and the second suspect is in custody. Whew.


Beauty and The Beast

The day before we go to pick up Libby, we tell Farmer, “Guess who’s coming tomorrow?” First his ears perk up, and then, when we say, “We’re going to get LIBBY!” he runs around the living room and jumps up on the sofa to look out the window.  “Where is she? Where is she? I can’t wait! I can’t wait!”

By the time Libby leaves, Farmer is so exhausted that he climbs up on our bed and doesn’t move for two days.

He loves that girl like nobody’s business. And she loves him. A little girl and a dog, made for each other.

This is the kind of weekend when farm chores can be overwhelming, and Farm Dog and Farm Girl are both co-opted into helping. Roy is teaching Farmer to herd chickens. Plus, Farmer has to keep an eye out for customers coming down the driveway and duly alert us when he sees them. Libby, admittedly, is a good deal more helpful than Farmer. Together, we’ve been moving seedlings back and forth from the house to the greenhouse, planting more flower and vegetable seeds, picking lettuce, washing lettuce, packing eggs, putting the covers back on the garden beds that blew off in the wind the other night, and weeding  her garden plot.

Since these two hard workers deserve a break, Roy has taken them for a romp down at Quansoo beach.  Actually, they just got back, blowing in the back door, giggling and jingling. Libby is covered in sand and has a big grin on her face. She fell in the water apparently. Fortunately, Farmer didn’t have to rescue her. All is well. They had fun.

They will both sleep well tonight.




Gone Greenhousin’ — See You Later!

You know those kitschy signs you see hanging on back doors that say “Gone Fishin’’” or “Gone to the Beach?” Well, you’ll have to excuse my silliness this morning, but I am heading down to the hoop house and hanging a virtual sign right here that says “Gone Greenhousin.'” Because I’ve been sitting at my desk all week, aching to get down there to plant and transplant and pot-up and putter. So off I go. If you are looking for me, this is where I will be. In a place that feels like summer–a place that is actually warm!

Though you could say I jumped the gun a little bit, it’s nice to have heat loving plants like cosmos (top photo), nasturtiums, and basil hanging around. I cover them with plastic at night when the temperature in the hoop house goes down to just below 40°F. On a sunny day, it quickly gets up to 80°F, though we bring it down to 70°F by popping in the screens in both doors.

Swiss Chard seedlings, Round Two, are coming, and lots more lettuce, like my favorite Flashy Green Buttercrunch. I’ve already transplanted 400  lettuce seedlings into the garden outside. They’re covered with row fabric.

Today I’m going to fill a flat with more baby bok choy seed, and maybe transplant some dill and parsley seedlings. I’ll dip the pots in a weak bleach solution first and rinse them off.


Cherry Belle and Easter Egg radishes (right), sandwiched between arugula sprouts, will be harvestable in only a couple weeks and I’m still picking from the first planting of this beautiful Red Pirat lettuce.

And if I really want to daydream, I can look out the newly installed rear (eastern) door onto the “back forty” (actually the “back four”) where visions of strawberries are dancing in our heads.







These Are The Days

Lest you think we are all farm and no play around here…Yesterday we took advantage of a 24-hour visit from Libby and the most beautiful day we’ve seen in months and headed up to the clay cliffs at Gay Head for a spectacular beach walk.  My Iphone ran out of juice, so I didn’t get to document Libby covered in clay from head to toe. (We always forget to bring appropriate clean-up materials on this kind of walk.)

While Roy looked for arrowheads and Libby painted herself with warrior clay, I lay down in the warm sand with my face to the sun and almost fell asleep. In my head, Keith Urban’s song, These Are The Days, was playing. Partly because I was thinking, “These are the days we’ve been waiting for all through the cold mucky winter.” But also I was thinking how great it is to be present and to know that it absolutely does not get any better than it is right in that moment.

Maybe all that sunshine was going to my head—it is incredibly uplifting after all. And no doubt we are very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place, though we tend to forget it sometimes. But no matter where you are or what the weather is this Easter weekend, I hope you find yourself walking into the light, enjoying moments with your family or friends, and remembering to take a mental snapshot of what you love most so you can conjure it up on a rainy day.

New at the Grocery Store: Baby Kale + 10 Ways to Use It

We are just going to ignore the fact that 7 inches of snow fell here last night and pretend that it truly is spring.

So let’s talk about spring greens, specifically baby kale. I am very excited that baby kale is finally making it into mainstream supermarkets. I’ve seen more of it just in the last couple months, since I first mentioned it in a blog post back in February. Now I’ve seen boxes (right) or bags of it in three different grocery store chains. (One to look for is Earthbound Farm’s Mixed Baby Kales.)

Mostly I am excited because baby kale is a much more versatile veggie than mature kale. (See ideas below.) It is also tastier, more tender, and a whole lot more palatable. Roy and Farmer both eat the stuff without blinking.

I’ve never been a big fan of the tough leaves of huge, curly-type kales, and in fact, when I wrote Fast, Fresh & Green four years ago, I insisted that everyone par-boil kale before using it in most other dishes, or confine it to soups and braises. I still think it’s a good idea to soften kale first before adding it to pastas or gratins, but now I don’t necessarily freak out when I see chefs and cooks “sautéing” raw kale. With a young or tender variety, a simple sauté is just fine. (But try “sautéing” the older, tougher leaves and you will still have something pretty chewy on your plate.) I’m even embracing kale salads!

I’m also kind of excited about this baby kale trend, because I’m quite sure it came straight from the farmers’ markets. Market growers have been selling baby kale for a while, first in baby salad green mixes and then on its own. I have to laugh, as I stumbled into selling mostly baby and small leaves of kale at our farm stand (see mix at top), because I have trouble controlling damage from cabbage worms, which for some odd reason like the older, bigger leaves better than the little tender ones. Also, I can harvest the first baby kale leaves very early in the spring time, so it gives me something to sell while I’m waiting for other things. In fact, I’ve got the first little leaves of Red Russian Kale forming in the hoop house now (left).

It’s also fun to see that the baby kale mixes in the grocery store are featuring a few different varieties of kale so folks can begin to notice the differences. The mix I bought yesterday has some baby Lacinato in it. This is the variety of kale (also called Tuscan Kale or Dinosaur Kale–shown growing at right) that really won my affection, and now I grow both a green and a purple variety of it.

Best of all, baby kale, whether you get it at the grocery store or the farm stand, is pretty much an instant side dish—even easier to prepare than spinach, since it is cleaner. (Small stems can be removed or not). Because kale grows upright, several inches off the ground, it doesn’t harbor dirt the way spinach does.

Okay, so here are some ideas for using baby kale. Why, you could practically eat the stuff every day. So now you have no excuses for avoiding this nutritional powerhouse:

1. Cook a simple sauté: Mince a clove of garlic and a half inch of fresh ginger, heat in olive oil with a few red pepper flakes until sizzling. Add kale leaves and a sprinkle of salt and toss until wilted.

2. Trick up the sauté: Do the above and add a combination of a couple teaspoons of balsamic vinegar, orange juice, and maple syrup in at the end. Stir and let thicken for a minute. Remove and eat right away. (Or sub soy sauce for the balsamic.)

3. Make a kale salad: Make a quick vinaigrette of fresh lemon juice, olive oil, a wee bit of anchovy (and/or a touch of honey) if you like, salt and fresh pepper. Toss the leaves well, rubbing the dressing in a bit with your hands. Let sit, then toss with crumbled fresh goat cheese or feta and toasted pine nuts or toasted almonds.

4. Make a frittata/savory bread pudding (like we did last night) with cubes of toasted English muffin, cheddar cheese, sausage, thyme, Dijon, and wilted baby kale. (Cook the sausage first and wilt the kale leaves with it.)

5. Make a topper: Put the salad (see No. 3 above) on top of grilled bread, pizza, toasted pita, naan or other flatbread.

6. Make a filler: Take the simple sauté (No. 1) and combine it with caramelized onions and a good aged cheese to make a yummy quesadilla filling or taco stuffing.

7. Make a quick soup: Infuse store-bought chicken broth with flavor by sautéing sausage, garlic, and shallots until brown. Simmer, add store-bought tortellini; add lots of kale leaves–and a dash of lemon or vinegar–at the end. Serve in shallow bowls, garnished with grated Parmigiano.

8. Pair with seafood: We eat a lot of our local bay scallops while they’re in season (now–soon to be over). I often do a quick scallop sauté (very high heat to cook them quickly, and again I use ginger and garlic, and usually a bit of lemon zest and/or orange juice) and fold kale leaves in at the end for a main-and-veggie-in-one supper, served over mashed potatoes or rice. You could do the same thing with shrimp. Or wilt the kale separately and use it as a bed for roast cod or salmon or halibut.

9. Try chips & drinks: Yes, you can make kale chips and green smoothies out of this stuff, too, but you’ll have to talk to someone else about that!

10. Don’t forget slaw: Add baby kale to coleslaw (right) or any other marinated veggie dish.


P.S. If you’re inspired and want to grow kale in your garden this year, here are three nice varieties: Red Russian, Lacinato, and Rainbow Lacinato. The latter—a cross between Lacinato and Redbor kale—is my favorite—a beautiful crinkly purple leaf with a tender texture. (You can get a hint of it in the couple of baby leaves shown in the top photo–the color is stunning.) Don’t spend money on kale starts (six-packs); it’s not necessary since kale germinates well and grows quickly. Sow seeds directly as soon as the soil warms up to about 50°. You can sow the seeds thickly if you are going to harvest baby greens, but later you’ll want to thin the plants to about 8 to 10 inches apart. You can let those plants grow and harvest new and bigger leaves all summer (and fall—and even into winter).


Photo below—greens from my friend Jessica Bard’s garden.


Jumbo Eggs & Chicken Collectibles; Plus A Cabbage Recipe & A Candle for Sixburnersue

Merrily skipping outside with my camera this morning, I had visions of writing about hope and rebirth (jumping right past St. Patrick’s Day to Easter), so I started snapping photos of chives and daffodils poking through the ground.

Then down to the hoop house I went (again) figuring I hadn’t yet inundated you with enough baby seedling pix.


Oh, and the first true leaves on the tomato seedlings under the lights—you’d have to see those.

But very quickly I got distracted. I went to check the nest boxes and found a lovely egg in a sunny bed of straw.

And then I remembered that every night while we’re washing and packing the eggs, I marvel at how striking they look in their almond and apricot and melony hues, so tidily arranged in their cartons. I wanted to show you our cool product.


And then I remembered that I keep meaning to photograph the jumbo and miniature eggs we get. The jumbo eggs, mostly double-yolkers, are so huge (sometimes more than 3 1/2 ounces) that it makes you wince thinking about those 4-pound hens laying them. We get three or four jumbos every day. The minis are more of an aberration. (The egg in the middle, below, is normal sized.)

Off I went to photograph eggs, and in the process, I added a chicken to one of the photos (see top of blog). We have a lot of chickens. Not just live chickens…

…But wooden chickens, china chickens, iron chickens, chickens on dishtowels and pot holders, chickens on plates and mugs. We are guilty of collecting them, and friends and family give us more. (Roy already had the one below when I met him. He and Libby bought the one above for me a couple years back.)


My friend Eliza gave us these great hen and rooster salt and pepper shakers.


My friend  Heidi dropped by yesterday with a cool hen tote bag and some produce bags from her sister’s company, Ecobags.


My mom recently passed along this lovely Nicolas Mosse plate and the great Barred Rock look-a-like (at top).


Our friend Mary gave us this wonderful Bridgewater chicken mug.


Roy’s mom found us an old egg carton stamp in an antique store…


…and Roy picked up this old egg scale at a tag scale.


One chicken-y shelf in our mudroom includes Roy’s egg cup from childhood and a little wooden toy rooster from Portugal I had as a child.

In the end I decided to share our chicken collectibles with you in the blog today. But then I figured I shouldn’t ignore St. Patrick’s Day altogether, so I found the link to this fabulous cabbage and potato gratin I created and posted two years ago. Reading that post, I realized (yikes) that St. Patrick’s Day is Sixburnersue.com’s official anniversary. Apparently you folks have been putting up with me and my rambling blogs for three years now—wow!

I have to thank you for that. And for helping me get through a nasty winter. Whether it’s shamrocks or garlic chives, fresh eggs or baby lambs, there’s plenty about spring to jump start our spirits.


Ruffled Feathers

Believe me, I did not want to write about the weather again. I know, if you’re like me, you could really care less about what the weather is in, say, Charleston or San Francisco or Denver, if you’re not there. And don’t plan to be there any time soon. And I’m pretty sure you’re not coming to Martha’s Vineyard, what with the ferries docked and the planes grounded. Yes, we’re pretty much marooned. This time, a storm off the New England coast has been spinning around in a circle for three days. THREE DAYS of nonstop wind, and over the last day or so, spitting sideways icy icky precipitation. Every time we walk out the door, which we do, uh, a lot, what with 250 chickens to feed, water, let out, let in, etc., we get pummeled. What a winter.

There’s a lot to be grateful for, I know. We do not have 34 inches of snow on the ground. Our house is not falling into the sea (unlike some on the New England coast this week). We have heat. And food (of course). And power. So I have no business being so cranky. (The hens, on the other hand, have every right to complain, which they don’t, even when they venture out of their coops to try and scratch around in the mud, which is pretty futile. Their feathers flip up and around and backwards, making it impossible for them to puff up and keep warm. Ruffled feathers indeed. They march back inside pretty quickly.)

Instead of the weather, I’d wanted to tell you about all the lovely seedlings we’ve got going in the hoop house. But I’ve sat frozen at the computer, thinking if I do that, the one big mega-gust is going to come along and finally blow the hoop house down. (As it is right now, when you’re inside the hoop house it’s as loud as a helicopter landing pad. We open and close the door as quickly as possible so that the wind doesn’t rip it off.)

I must have faith that nothing is going to happen to the kale and chard and spinach and mizuna and tat soi and mustard and 12 kinds of lettuce seedlings we’ve got started—or the beautiful lettuce we’re already harvesting in the raised bed. And that the soil in the garden will dry out enough to get our peas in the ground in a few weeks. And that the sun will come out.

In the mean time, I sometimes just go down to the hoop house and stare at the incredibly beautiful colors of that lettuce—it’s the perfect antidote to the gray skies—and pinch myself that we have all this opportunity, all these possibilities, before us. And daffodils already poking up in the maple grove. Spring will come—on its own schedule.

And for now, at least someone in the household is enjoying the snow.