Memories Of Warm Summer Days

Fireweed in the summer night light

dry moss

Baltic sea beach

strawberries from the garden

gray sky over the river

Mountain lake and sunset

Mountains and orange sky

Butterfly

rapsberries from the garden

drought in the forest

summer sky

baltic sea rock beach

beetroots from the garden

Fireweeds and gray sky

noctilucent clouds

Never had I seen the forest so dry or heard the moss creaking under my feet.

The dust from the dirt road to the seaside was flying around the car, falling on the wild blueberry bushes and staying there, a coat of gray on the forest floor that no rain came to wipe off.

Nestled between the forest and the Baltic sea were little summer cabins, little summer paradises, brought back to life for the warm weeks of July. The sun was hot, the wind was warm and it felt easy to get into the water. I’d thought it wouldn’t be warm enough for anything but a quick dip, but it was delightful to bathe and swim for a while. It felt just like when I was a kid and my family spent the end of our summers by the Mediterranean sea.

The grass in the garden had stopped growing long before Midsummer. The raspberries started ripening so early that we pondered cancelling our trip to the mountains and stay at home on jelly duty.
As we picnicked by the river after an unexpected pause to set up the spare tire, we watched the sky darken and wondered: will there be a thunderstorm? Will we get rain to cool the air a little? Or will the thunder start another forest fire?

We set the table in the garden every day. When the sun had turned and we could be in the shade, we picked the raspberries. Late at night, when it was a little cooler, Mom and Dad and I cooked many jars of jelly.

There was a watering ban, so we collected water went we showered and carried watering cans to try and save my vegetable patch. We couldn’t do miracles. But there were few pretty beetroots and some delicious strawberries.

Come August, there was a warning for cyanobacterial bloom at one of the nearby beaches.

The night sky got slowly darker. I was the days when you gaze up and spot a star and think: funny how I’d forgotten about that! I got a text from my brother one night. “If you look North, you will see noctilucent clouds”.

 

 

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Some Things

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Something I finally tried last weekend: weaving a rag rug! An awesome local weaving studio had an open doors event, so I jumped at the chance. I think I’m hooked!

Something that grows really well in my garden this year? Zucchini! I tried two different kinds: Striato d’Italia and Costata Romanesco. Both worked great, and they’re a good combination since the former started giving fruits in July while the later is ready now.

Some great things I stumbled upon via twitter (I’m @by_marion) this week:

Something to eat?

Something about a bird named Malawi.

Some things about creative introverts. Well, I identify with every single point. Do you?

Have a wonderful weekend!


other things


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Some Things

garden greensSomething picked in the garden, and immediately eaten.

flowerSomething orange growing all by itself in said garden.

And some things Lena replied to my questions.

Have a good weekend!


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North & South | #18

courgette

courgette

Oh, everybody can grow courgettes. It’s just that some people – like my parents – live a little bit further south, that’s all!

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on growing food and carrot greens soup

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That’s about it. The last harvest of the season. Not pictured: a nice bunch of salads, a bunch of peppermint, and the last blueberries from the forest. The herbs and flowers, we dried and saved to slowly enjoy in cups of tea and sprinkled over pizza through the winter. The vegetables, we savored – every last one of them. Picked about a month ago, and now, long gone.

I was pretty sure that I had never wasted much food. But growing my own – or, more precisely, growing only a tiny little part of it – I’m learning my lesson: there’s still room for improvement. Before growing carrots myself, I had never wondered, silly me, if you could eat carrot greens. I’m glad I know that now, because they make a delicious soup.

Here’s to growing, what? A week’s worth of carrots?
Next year, hopefully, we’ll grow some more.


Carrot Greens Soup
adapted from this recipe

Serves 4 as a starter, or 2 as a main meal with home baked bread and cheese or hummus.

Ingredients
– The greens from a bunch of carrots (about half the carrots pictured above). I removed the stem-like parts and kept only the leafy parts.
– 3 potatoes, pealed and diced
– 1 onion, chopped
– 1 clove of garlic
– 3 tablespoons of oil
– 1 pinch of fenugreek, or 1 cube of stock
– salt and pepper
– 1/2 liter of water

Instructions
Sauté the onions and garlic in oil. Add the potatoes and carrot greens and brown for 4-5 minutes while stirring.
Pour the water and add seasoning. Bring to a light boil, and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Blend and enjoy. Never
EVER again throw away any carrot greens.

red is best, but green will do

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chutney-small
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They grew quite well, and I could picture them red, ripe, perfect, with basil. The climate, however, decided otherwise. Not so surprisingly, of course, in these latitudes. Gray, gray skies, pouring rain, and chilly temperatures – green they remained, and so, chutney they became.

harvest

potato-small
A couple of months ago, when I was still a desperate postdoc, my answer to the unavoidable “what next?” question was oscillating between “nothing” and “moving north and starting a potato farm”. Instead, I started my own tiny creative studio, but more on that later. Anyway, the “farm” thing, to be honest, was largely exagerated. But the idea of growing food was definitely part of the plan, and I did start a tiny vegetable patch, too. Including potatoes. According to my best predictions, this bowl contains at least 1/8th of this year’s harvest. Well, contained, actually. Because we ate them straight away. Needless to say, they were absolutely delicious.

august

august02-small

august01-smallWe came back to pouring rain and thunder. After the storm, in the mist, we picked lettuce, peas, radish and basil for dinner. And this morning, in the soggy, sunny, silent forest we picked blueberries for breakfast.

about summer?

basil-smallSomething I love about summer? Something I love about summer…
Not the heat, no, not the heat. I love the north, having a sweater on, and that light, that light! But then, oh, olive oil on my bread! Food from the south! And, oh, basil. Oh, yes, basil!

hello, july

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dinner-small

flowers-small

work-small

July started with a gorgeous sunny day. We picked radishes for lunch, and then again for dinner. Beans are out, now that the frost is gone. Here are some flowers for the table, and a glimpse of this afternoon’s work. In matching colors, by chance. July is here already. It’s going to be a busy month, in a good way. Family and friends visiting, and big plans about a book and setting up our very own small creative company. Hello, July. You’re gonna be a good month.