Maybe like some of you, I grew up being completely and utterly enthralled with Little House in the Big Woods. The words dripped off of the pages, the imagery so real that I thought at times I could smell the maple syrup boiling or the hear the soft hum of the first snow falling in October. For whatever reason (sorry, I don’t have all the answers), that book just always called to me. Perhaps it was life just trying to nudge me in the right direction? In any case, as most of you know, I have created a home life that borders on a homestead, a farm, and a pioneer’s kitchen.
Colin jokes that if he would let me have cows and goats, I would. He’s right. Good thing he knows me well, because he has made sure that I’ve had the true necessities: I have a beautiful big garden for planting vegetables and flowers, a yard for my kids to play, woods for them to explore, and chickens that give us beautiful, brown eggs. I make bread twice a week at least, and even cheese from time to time. I love this aspect of my life.
Our house is on a little hill overlooking the Blue Ridge in beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia and we wouldn’t want to live anywhere else (except for somewhere warm in the winter–maybe??).
I often don’t get to post here as much as I would like because I’m either working on other projects or out in the garden tending to everything. Since the weather has still continued to be so shockingly warm, all of my cold-weather plants are having a huge renaissance and flourishing. I thought I’d share a few photos. Please keep in mind that I obsessively photograph root vegetables. It’s just a thing–I don’t have a problem, really.
Sunchokes are just about the easiest thing to grow in the world. They are a native root vegetables that send up beautiful sunflower-like tall stalks with yellow flowers that bloom all summer long. In the fall I dig up the roots, which once clean can be roasted or made into soup–we’re even going to try some potato chips! Why? Well, they are a cross taste/consistency-wise between a potato and a turnip. Here’s hoping that turns out! The best part about these veggies is that you never need to replant. It is impossible to dig up all of them, and whatever gets left in the ground grows the following year. It is amazing and so sustainable!
Next up…I brought in some spinach and lettuce and began by washing the leaves in the sink. After rinsing three times, I store the greens in ziploc bags with paper towels to absorb extra moisture.
These greens pair perfectly well with the turnips and radishes that I pulled out of the warm, loose ground. Whenever I pick root vegetables I swear I feel like Peter Rabbit, Bilbo Baggins and Winnie the Pooh all at once!
Remember…you were warned.0