Sunday, June 13, 2010
Rainy Weekend Fieldtrips
Rainy weekend afternoons in the summer are best for field trips. Last Sunday, we trekked to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens for some rainy inspiration and a peek at the new children's garden.
This weekend, we spent Saturday afternoon exploring Scarborough's newest retail shopping experience, Marden's, housed in the old Wal-Mart building. I must say, we weren't the only ones who thought this might be an interesting way to spend the afternoon. Between the transfer station swap shop, the new Goodwill and now Marden's, I think all our consumptive needs may be met. In true Marden's form, we didn't know we needed a bulk box of Kashi mini-wheats and Fruiti-oes, both organic, but then we saw it at Marden's and now it sits atop our cupboard. It goes so well with our milk!
Sunday, however, topped the cake. First, let me present a little history. I have an ever growing obsession with roses. when we arrived at Broadturn Farm, the area around the house was a blank slate with the exception of a scraggly looking rose adjacent to the front door of the house. I almost dug it up but thought I would wait for a season to see what kind of bloom it would produce. It took awhile to shake off the neglect but by last summer, our 3rd year at the farm, the rose bloomed prolifically and the growth was outstanding. It is covered with crimson blooms for about 6 weeks each summer and is now climbing next to our doorway. For the last few winters, I have been Minerva-ing any books I can find on roses. My obsession finally lead me to create a spreadsheet called "Roses That I Need" to keep all my research and my obsession organized (a little geeky, yup.). I happened upon the web site for Old Sheep Meadow Nursery in one of my late night Google searches for "old roses Maine" and noticed they were close by and would be hosting an open house starting June 12th. I've been ready to visit for months, and with sincere enthusiasm, John and Flora agreed to join me.
In addition to roses, I am also a little infatuated with Tasha Tudor so when we arrived the nursery, I thought might pretend for just a moment that Tasha would walk around the corner.
Instead, we were greeted by Michal Rae, who graciously answered my naive questions and directed our gaze and our nose in all the right directions.
The smell of the place was enough to make you feel like heaven and the ample supply of blooming foxgloves towering over the budding daylilies was a true garden treasure.
I am in love with roses and Tasha Tudor and now I can say I do believe I am developing a crush on the Old Sheep Meadow Nursery, her roses and her people.
As you can probably guess, I came home with a few rose plants and can't wait to settle them in and watch them grow.
For me, the biggest step to moving beyond reading about roses and feeling ready to buy and grow a few roses is believing I am deserving of them. They are thought to be the great challenge for the gardener. If you come by the farm next summer and there aren't any roses left, I guess I'll sheepishly be saying I wasn't so deserving.
Please consider a visit to Raymond and Michal Rae Graber's garden and nursery for an hour of heaven during their open house and you might just find yourself tucking roses into the backseat of your car.
Hopefully, if John is as thoughtful as I believe him to be, he'll be reserving tickets for us this September for the Tasha Tudor Garden Tour and I can share that field trip and its accompanying obsession in the fall. I confessed to my crew how fond I am of Tasha and we have a Tasha Tudor dress-up day planned for the summer.
Ok....so on to the vegetables...This week's share will most likely include:
Pac Choi (sorry it wasn't ready last week)
a basil seedling
a small taste of sugar snap peas (no need to shell them)
Garlic scapes are the flowering part of the garlic that we cut off when it buds. The purpose is twofold...an early taste of garlic and eliciting growth of the garlic bulb once the pressure to produce a flower is removed. You can use this scape any way you would choose to use garlic. My all time favorite garlic scape dish is a pesto made with scapes, Parmesan, olive oil, nuts and salt. I whiz it all up in the food processor and spread over whatever is needing more garlic such as pasta, steak, any veggie (peas!), bread and eggs. We love this short season treat.
The sugar snap peas do not need to be shelled. They are best raw but then again I have so little time to cook in June and do a great deal of snacking in the field.
To close, I must share that I am in the BWI airport on the way home from a one day whirlwind trip accompanying Emma to present her National History Day Individual Documentary about pesticides. The power of the internet allows me to feel like a real commuter, finishing my work in the airport. Today also permitted a quick trip to the United States Botanical Garden. I didn't have my camera to share any of the glory with you but if ever you find yourself with a few hours to kill in DC, I highly recommend a walk through the Conservatory to see a great collection of plants, most notable to us where the orchids.
As we await our flight home to Maine, all I can think about is the bowl full of berries I'll eat before bed.
Blessings on the meal,
at 11:19 PM