I hold no illusions that either of my girls will ever choose to do what I do for a living. Emily is enthralled by the sciences and envisions herself working in a laboratory and is working towards that goal. Mollie is young enough to have a millions ideas and change them daily. It is a great time in your life. The possibilities are endless, as are your interests. But perhaps they always are and we just don't see it that way.
It's nice to have them both home together with me this summer. I fully understand that this might never be the case again as Emily gets ready to strike out on her own. Although gardening isn't really their thing, I'm glad to have them give me the occasional hand in the garden, especially on delivery days when I'm quite busy.
I listen for their comments that make me understand that some of the value I see in this lifestyle, they can see too.
Weeding to some may seem tedious, monotonous and therefore "boring". That's definitely one thing the girls know not to say around me, because there's always an alternative...there's always something to do. It could be that you just don't want to do those things. And weeding is not boring at all. It is relaxing, stress relieving, contemplative work. I love looking back over an area I've weeded. I'll go out for a final walk around at night and give myself an imaginary pat on the back for a job well done.
I think Emily sees that. Last week as we weeded quietly together she let me know that it wasn't too bad at all. It was relaxing. She marvelled too that the seeds she planted grew as quickly as they did and that it was all so simple. Seed into the ground, cover it, water it and the growing begins. Simple, miraculous, wonderful. It is all those things. I think she had forgotten that since her Junior Gardener days at the Royal Botanical Gardens. The intervening stress of university, work, relationships and life erased those memories of what a simple joy gardening can be, and how important our connection with nature is.
When Emily was little, she loved bugs. She made a little moss garden and collected pill bugs to put in it. She turned stones and pieces of wood over to find bugs, she looked at them with her magnifying glass, she was excited to find new ones she had never seen before.
Now she's 26. I'm thrilled to see her out in the garden, lifting up rocks and looking for bugs. It is her way of stopping to smells the roses. It also thrills me to know that she wants to grow her own food and that she wants to have some land. This will be her balance after her days in the lab, just as it's been mine after a stressful career. I hope anyway.
Today's CSA delivery is week number 4 of 25. The zucchini in the baskets made them a bit heavy, as did the beautiful Long Red Florence onions, garlic, baby carrots (REAL baby carrots), Slim Jim eggplants, leaf celery, chard, kale, golden purslane, summer savoury, lime basil, black currants, and a taste of tomatoes.
I love black currants. My mom always used to tell me that there was more Vitamin C in currants than there was in oranges, and we always had them on the farm.
I've got a bumper crop this year and am going to make some black currant liqueur with some of mine. You know, Vitamin C and all, so it's got to be worthwhile.
Another super great use is sorbet. It's absolutely delicious.
(From the NY Times-adjust quantities accordingly)
Black Currant Sorbet
Time: 35 minutes plus freezing time
3 cups granulated sugar
2 3/4 cups fresh black currants.
1. In a medium saucepan combine the sugar with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, stir until sugar dissolves, and remove from heat.
2. Place currants in a clean saucepan and add 2 cups of the sugar syrup. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Purée using an immersion blender or stand blender. Strain through a chinois or fine sieve, discarding solids. Allow to cool completely; mixture may be chilled in a bowl set in an ice water bath.
3. Stir in 1/4 cup water and 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the remaining syrup, to taste. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, if available. Or freeze in a container, stirring every few hours as the mixture hardens. For firmer sorbet, transfer to a covered container and freeze until solid, several hours or overnight.
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts.