I always feel blessed at the end of the season to have been surrounded with such abundance throughout the growing season. This year was our first year on our farm and the garden was fruitful! But, what surprised me was the abundance of food and remedies growing in the forest around me.

We found all sorts of things. In the spring we found fiddleheads and morel mushrooms which made some yummy pasta. Fiddleheads are the sprouting shoots of the fern plant and sort of look like little green coils. We pick them, wash them, then sautéed them in a little avocado oil or butter with salt.

The garden was slow to start thanks to two late touches of frost in June! Some of our plants were killed and many of our indoor starts got too leggy to set out into the soil because they’d been told to wait for too long. But, we were still able to enjoy some early lettuce varieties while we waited for the peas to come up.

In the summer we picked rose petals to dry for later use, as well as Usnea moss that grows on the tree branches here. Usnea, or Old Man’s Beard, grows abundantly from the trees here and it can be used for so many things! Many herbal medicine books speak about its versatility for many ailments.

Then we discovered the berries! Oh my! We found so many raspberries and blackberries on our land in forgotten places. We combined them with the blueberries we picked down the road and made wonderful jams, pancakes, smoothies, and other goodies.

It was around then that our first batch of chickens was ready to be sent to the butcher. This was both satisfying and somber. I have respect for all living beings and their sacrifice was not taken lightly, though we do appreciate the sustenance they have provided.

In the fall we’ve begun to prep the beds for the garlic to be planted. We have 30lbs of seed garlic to go into the ground before the snow comes. Next July we will have an abundant harvest of garlic to sell at the market, along with some left over to replant our plot!

I can’t wait for next season!

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