Friday, July 31, 2009

Camping with Girlfriends

Camping is all about food. Getting ready for meals, cooking on the grill and in foil packets, cleaning up--it takes five times longer than it does in your kitchen but tastes one thousand times better. Why is that?

I went on a overnight camping trip with three girlfriends and we cooked awesome food, swam, sunned on the dock, kayaked and toasted summer evenings with some great wine. Of course, we bonfired as well. My friend Kathryn kept the fire stoked all evening. This is her photograph of the fire just after the sun slipped behind the trees.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

New Sheep at Cat Crossing Farm

Meet our new flock! This month we bought five spring Katahdin lambs from a very dedicated breeder who raises a large flock about 10 miles from us. We’ve never raised Katahdins before (over the past 20 years we’ve raised English or Scottish sheep breeds including Cheviot, Jacob, Romney Marsh and Border Leicester). So this is our first American sheep breed. The breed originated in Maine, named after Mt. Katahdin, the highest peak in the state.

Another first is that Katahdins don’t have to be sheared. They are called hair sheep and they grow a thick coat that sheds off in the spring. Our lambs are undocked too, which means that they have long tails. They look more like a flock of little dogs right now.

A very vigilant llama guarded our sheep at their previous home, so our new lambs were totally comfortable with sharing a pasture with our three donkeys and three horses. It’s nice to have sheep again. Just seeing them grazing on the hill makes the farm look so pastoral, so peaceful.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In Praise of Summer

“Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” --Henry James

All the windows in the house are wide open and a warm breeze is whisking through the screens, making that shushing noise I love so well. I'm in total agreement with Henry James about a summer afternoon.

In midsummer, the roadway ditches are as blue as the sky--with wide sweeps of blooming chickory and clouds of flat-headed Queen Anne's lace bobbing in the wind. The sound of a crop-dusting plane whines in the distance. How do you capture this feeling and play it back on a January evening when you really need it?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Country Gardens Fall 2009

The Fall 2009 issue of Country Gardens is on the newsstands on August 4th. My "Slow Lane" column is all about taking note of the seasonal changes of the garden. The take away is that you should be out there ohhing and ahhing over your garden every day. Because, tick-tock, the season is slipping by. Which is why I've been so lax in posting to my blog. ;-)

If you want to become a fan of Country Gardens magazine on Facebook, here's the link: