A Tribute to Summer at Fern Creek

photo by Kara

photo by Kara

Preparation that starts with garlic planting in October comes to fullness in July. Though the harvest begins in Spring and ends in Fall, it seems the garden’s most bountiful space comes as July eases toward August and corn reaches for the sky.

Fern Creek is what it is because of people and critters who come to live here, or to visit, for a summer or a day, or a few minutes every week. That includes grandchildren and CSA children who inspire things like the brontosaurus tree (aka: the giraffe tree), and CSA families who keep us planting food that fills our plates and pantries with a variety we’d never have otherwise.

The following photos and words offer a glimpse into our Very Good summer life at Fern Creek, and my various appreciations…

mark#1: First, a word of appreciation to my farming partner, Mark.¬†While Ed (Liz’s husband) was the first to call Mark and me robots when Kara asked if we ever stop working, Mark is the one who seems tireless. He’ll sometimes get up early to get a head start on hoeing or harvesting. He is my best friend, my sous chef in the kitchen, my most brutally honest and wonderfully affirming first reader on my manuscript, and the best farming partner I can imagine.

eden#2: Family. Eden, Auden, and Juniper, my three granddaughters, have had individual sleep-overs at Fern Creek this summer. Eden is particularly eager to spend the Whole Day outside, walking through the woods, sitting by the creek, swinging in the hammock, tasting beans, tomatoes, and raspberries as we walk through the gardens. Auden enjoys baking with me and wants me to teach her how to put beans in jars when she gets older. Juniper loves sleeping outside in a tent and playing make-believe that we are sisters on an adventure. They keep me young. Quite young.

#3: Apprentices: Liz and Kara have been amazing this summer. We read Mary Oliver poetry, Wendell Berry essays and are now making our way through Norman Wirzba’s book, Food and Faith. Our farming experience is enlivened by their curiosity and desire to learn to work with the land. I think they want to live here permanently, which is okay by me.

Liz

Liz

Kara

Kara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#4: The bounty of the land: Words are not necessary here. All that is required is gratitude, which we have.

photo by Liz

photo by Liz

#5: Our Fern Creek CSA Family & Friends. When CSA members tell us that coming to Fern Creek is a highlight in their week because it is such a peaceful place to come, we feel like others experience Fern Creek as we do, and as we hope they might. Their support of what we do in word and practice keeps Fern Creek going. They buy produce, eggs and honey grown, laid, and made here, and their gratitude inspires us to keep tending fields, chickens, and bees. And suppers we eat on the picnic table with friends, (and having our apprentices do the same) is another sweet part of the summer life at Fern Creek, as is sitting on the porch on warm summer nights and listening to the cicadas and crickets while talking, or reading. IMG_2381

Our life at Fern Creek is richer for the coming and going of people, the moving through seasons, the bounty and harvest of the summer. When Mark and I question why we are choosing to spend another summer this way in May, the answer is always just around the corner.

We are grateful. Nearly every day.

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