Hawkeye and I love the Caribbean. There’s no place we’d rather be outside of the garden.
We were shocked, stunned, watching as Hurricane Irma destroyed everything in her path. And now, with Hurricane Maria coming so soon after, so viciously, we are distraught and depressed. It’s hard to take it all in even though we are so far away.
The photo above was our first glimpse of the island that’s become first in our hearts: Dominica, the Nature Island; land of three hundred and sixty-five rivers, mountainous rainforest, a cerulean sea full of whale and fish, unique, unspoilt beaches, and lovely, lovely people. We planned to go back this Winter but sadly now those plans are on hold.
I thought I’d share a few photos to balance the images of destruction and I’d like to reiterate what seems to be the theme of the disasters currently happening around the world: People, it’s time to come together.
Hype. Spin. Noise! How nutty it is that in this age of information, we can’t tell what’s real.
My remedy has been plugging in to the garden. The natural world is the really real world, and spending time there puts the made-up, plastic world around us into sharp focus, showing it as a bit ugly and kindof insane.
I love watching friends’ expressions as I give them a garden tour. Everyone feels it when they’re surrounded by the plants- a bit of awe, a bit of swoon, and a feeling that this space is somehow different, special; more happy and relaxed; more real.
That feeling is what I love about things that are handmade with plants. The colors, aromas, textures! Natural feels so good! Why should we settle for synthetic imitations?
The big heat of Summer is here, the time that Basil begins growing with beautiful bounty! We’ve just started delivering bunches to the co-op and I’m happily munching as much as I can.
I’m a pretty serious Basil hound, using fresh leaves like lettuce and smearing pesto on anything I can. Good old sweet ‘Genovese’ Basil is my standard, but it’s fun having the different flavors of different varieties so we also grow ‘Lemon’ (makes an incredible sun tea), ‘Dark Opal’ (a purple-colored variety of Italian Sweet Basil), ‘Thai’ (a spicier Asian cousin that holds its flavor better when cooked with heat) and ‘Sacred’ (native to India, also called ‘Holy’ Basil or ‘Tulsi’).
Basil has been traditionally used as herbal medicine, and is good food being rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium.
So delicious! And it’s good for you! Enjoy some new recipes this Summer- you might get addicted like me but it’s kindof hard to see a downside to that 😉
I might deny I said this come the rose blossom days of sun-filled June, but I love Spring the best.
(Wait, I already have to take it back. The rushing in of summertime in the weeks around Summer Solstice is what I really love. Spring is just thrilling in a different way.)
The garden is jumping up fast and we we were able to start cutting some herbs today. Chives are always the first to fully grow out, but our well-loved Sorrel isn’t far behind. We hope to be cutting Sorrel and Garlic Chives next week, so wish us some rain 🙂
We’re celebrating the first day of Spring by starting our planting today. (Indoors only! There’s still snow on the ground.)
Kale is first on the list, and in a first a for us, Lemongrass.
Every year I swear off tender plants that have to be overwintered in the house, but I’m making another exception for Lemongrass.
We fell in love with Lemongrass when we saw it growing wild on the island of Dominica. It was everywhere! Blew our minds to see it growing like, you know, grass on the side of the road, instead of the hothouse plant we know it as.
And if you know Hawkeye, you know Dominica has become the place that’s first in his heart. He can’t wait to get back there. Until then, we’ll keep practicing a stuffed breadfruit recipe, drinking rum with lime juice, and catching some sights of the West Indies on these fun sailing channels on YouTube: