We have a large octopus-like pumpkin patch (lots of vine/ tendrils) taking over the yard. This year’s crop was planted from the seeds of last year’s harvest.
My friend and yoga teacher, Jane Hulting, gave me three nasturtium plants. I discovered that the leaves too (not just the flowers) are edible and add a spicy edge to pesto made with fresh basil. Jane grew up in the Midwest and called this plant “nasty-urchins.”
This year, I started planting dill — and have been enjoying it with salads and soups.
Several years ago, it was our good fortune to stay with friends in Newport, Vermont (transplants from Philadelphia) who now live in a former stage coach and grow their own garlic, potatoes and keep chickens who are named after characters from Virginia Woolf. (Did I mention that Pam and Anne are vegetarians — lucky chickens!) Our friends’ beautiful surroundings and sustainable way of living is captured in Kingdom’s Bounty, A sustainable, eclectic, edible guide to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom (Umbrage Editions). The book is written by Bethany M. Dunbar (co-editor of The Chronicle) with an introduction by Bill McKibben. The pages contain beautiful photographs and Dunbar’s poetic writing/ journalism (sunflower sprouts taste like a blast of sunshine) giving a genuine feel for Northeastern Vermont. After reading about happy cows, a community supported restaurant, organic dairies, county fairs, and the geology of Northeastern Vermont, I realized that I had experienced a mini-visit to this breath-taking part of the world and a realization that I will definitely be back.