The Milkweed Diaries

Monday, May 31, 2010

Kind Words and Pretty Pictures

My friend Dana put up some beautiful photos of our place this Spring (including this one at left) and some very kind words about our homestead on her absolutely delightful blog, "Dana-Dee," which I regularly read aloud to Christopher in the evening.

Ms. Dana Dee has an incredible eye for beauty, a fabulous way with words, and all kinds of useful and unusual skills (hide tanning and bird taxidermy and choreographing dance routines to be performed in unexpected public places all come to mind). She is an excellent cook, a knowledgeable herbalist, a gifted gardener, and a general all-round star. Tender-hearted and whip-smart and goofy as all get out, she is one of the funniest people I know and a very fine singer and dancer.

Here's the link to Dana's sweet-as-pie post about our place with lots of gorgeous pictures of little details. I sure am grateful to Dana and to Ashley at Small Measure for their words and for taking the time to capturing images and impressions of this place, especially since I've been neglecting my documentarian duties since in the frenzy of garden work and general Spring madness.

I so much appreciate the perspective I gain when friends and family visit -- their presence reminds me to pull my head up out of the weeds and seeds and look around at this beautiful place that I am so lucky and grateful to call home.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


I have been spending as little time as possible inside these days, hence the lapse in posting.

Thanks to Ashley over at Small Measure for picking up my slack and documenting some of the happenings here at Red Wing Farm! It's such a complement to see glimpses of our little homestead featured on Ashley's lovely collection of writings on "homemade living."

Pictured above: Blauwschokkers - Dutch Blue-Podded Peas. Seeds available from Seed Savers Exchange and Local Harvest.

The garden is lush, with something new bursting into bloom or shooting out of the ground every day. Some early spring vegetables are already past their peak (winter greens) and others (peas!) are coming on strong.

And we've entered the period of what I think of as "vegetable ephemerals" -- those special treats that are only available for a short window of time. Garlic scapes. Fresh fava beans. Sugar snap peas. And soon, since the first potato flowers appeared yesterday, there will be new potatoes.

Lettuce and borage.

Sugar Snap Peas.

Celery, purple onions, mustards, arugula.

It's also an exquisite time of year for the medicinal and culinary herbs and perennial flowering plants, which are in full leaf by now with many starting to flower. The medicine garden is bursting with blooms: valerian, foxglove, chamomile, feverfew, thyme, yarrow, meadow arnica, rue, columbine, Chinese red sage, skullcap, peonies, lavender, rosa rugosa, motherwort, and love-in-a-mist.

Rue, meadow arnica, and elecampane.

Feverfew and chamomile.


Chaste Tree and Love-in-a-mist.


May has just bustled right along with tailgate markets, teaching gardening classes, farm interns moving into their quarters and starting work, and lots and lots of planting.

I look forward to more time for writing and documenting things once the spring rush is past. Perhaps this is a fantasy since my day job is ratcheting up as political campaign season gets underway. I always feel like there is a slower time in my life just around the corner, but it rarely works out that way.

This evening will be a nice respite, though: our intern Nicole is "coming over" (walking down from the schoolbus camper) for a dinner of risotto with homegrown fava beans and garlic scapes, wild lambsquarters, and homemade hibiscus mead. Mmmmm, spring!

Looking into the garden...

Volunteer magenta spreen lambs- quarters