Archive | October 2012

Overwhelming Harvest

It’s been such a busy week, I still haven’t had time to deal with all these goodies. The potatoes are still in the bowl in the pantry, cool and dark; carrots have been topped and put in the fridge unwashed, until I decide whether to can or soup or what them; the little green cherry tomatoes have been pickled!

Scarlet runner bean seeds remain in the bowl on the counter; they’re not really edible, and will go back in the ground next spring to provide gorgeous red blossoms for the hummingbirds. Yes, I’ll put them away soon, in a jar in the pantry. And the colander full of arugula is all made into pesto, both walnut and macadamia nut. Going out in mid-October and harvesting six cups of arugula is a delight I had not anticipated. The caterpillar greenhouse Katrina built for me is providing yummy results already. This afternoon I harvested cilantro for the chicken-tomatillo-cilantro enchiladas I’m serving guests tonight. Spinach and mustard greens grow slowly, and next spring’s carrots and beets are full of leaves. A row of parsley divides the winter greens from the spring root crops. I have never been so content with my yard.

Carrots out of the ground, sun drying for a few minutes before going into the basket, into the house.

My pantry, a pale echo of Connie’s, but the most food I’ve ever canned in one year. From left, tomato paste, pickled jalapeños, marinara, and the yummy pickled green cherry tomatoes. I can’t wait to open a jar of those!

Onions and garlic from the Small Potatoes Farm, peppers from Katrina, parsley, basil and thyme from my garden, all simmering on the burner next to the tomato purée squeezed with Cynthia’s hand-crank food saucing appliance: romas from Small Potatoes, big juicy slicers from Dawn’s garden.

Guitarist Michael Gulezian plays by candlelight while I craft the marinara for a spaghetti dinner the next night. To hear more or less what that sounded like, check out some of his videos on youtube:

The threat of industry changing the face of our valley brought many disparate people together. Michael contributed to the scrapbook I made, and in the summer I heard him play and met him. We didn’t have much chance to talk. He lives in Tucson, and was passing through the North Fork on his way home after recording a new CD in Fort Collins, so he stopped by to visit. A lovely couple of evenings ensued with great music, friends, and food.

Bittersweet Monday


Warm, sunny days full of color, adventure, abundance; crystal cold nights chill tired bones.

Two Kittens


Two kittens, playing, leap the stream,

roll and wrestle, tag and tumble,

race, chase, grab and rumble,

scuffle under oaks through last year’s leaves.

Tawny mottled bodies vanish under summer trees.

The sound of their pouncing continues unseen.


Dogs on the rim stand rigid, aquiver,

engrossed in the antics below.

The cats crash back from deep shadows,

reach with sheathed claws in big soft paws,

leap, stretching in a single line ~

one behind the other holding on ~

they arc and spring, spring as one

upon a sapling, bend it to the ground.


Long tails white-tips flashing,

graceful lithe limbs thrashing,

ungainly kittens tangle with the boughs.

Oblivious to us above them on the canyon rim,

the first leaps out across the stream;

the second sprawls in the bowed canopy,

unhurried, unworried, spraddles the limbs,

bounces; wiggles to the ground.


The sapling springs upright.

A gift, a truly awesome sight,

wild feline abandon:

cougar cubs at play,

learning as they leap and run

the skills to catch their prey.



Tending a friend’s home I noticed this exquisite juxtaposition.

The old Rehobeth road, last Monday night, driving to a Kids’ Pasta Project dinner at Scenic Mesa Ranch. The warm cliffs always delight, and cottonwoods in the canyon glowed yellow on green.

The Smith Fork of the Gunnison flows through a private ranch as the canyon wends its way west toward the main river.

From the other side, looking back the way we came.

Below freezing the past two nights, brrrrr, and it took me all day to warm up. The first chill of winter is always hard to accept. But a small fire in the woodstove all afternoon kept the cold at bay, and I gathered in the last green tomatoes for pickles. Romas from the farm will bake into paste tomorrow, warming the house.

Science Experiment #17: a tiny fava bean harvest taught a lot. Too much water too late and not enough in the middle, while the pods were forming.

I steamed the small beans, but even with the last of the butter they were a little bitter. Venison steak with balsamic glaze and the last cherry tomatoes saved the day.

Tenacious flowers in pots make the patio glow.


Biko has been coming in at night since the cold rains a couple of weeks ago. I set him out in the south gravel every morning, where he basks until he’s warm enough to move. He found his special place this morning! Raven rolled for attention too.