Last fall I wrote a piece for Wild + Free on fermenting with children. It is one of my favorite articles I did for the magazine because everyone in our family helped with the photos, the recipes, and the fermentation! One year later, everyone is gathered around again, making a new ferment: Giardiniera. Jeffrey’s endless enthusiasm for fermentation experimentation is contagious. I think we are raising a whole brood of wildcraft makers and brewers.
After the Giardiniera project, we made wild grape soda: one of our September traditions and favorite ferments!
These two cousins have been spending lots of time together!
One moment they might be best buddies and the next moment they might be rolling around, tugging on one another like two little puppies . . . !
remember that night in August
when the light was just so
and the dogs were wild and wet
and the girls went swimming
and the boys played in the sand
and I went running down the beach?
This is the way we traveled to Gousty every day in August . . . back and forth through the flower tunnel.
Uncle James had all the cousins captivated with his bottle rocket!
And here are two beauties in the evening light.
my desk with little hands
and rose petals
because I want to remember writing here
at Old Gousty
with a view of the woods
Mary Oliver by my side
and rose petals
from roses Grandmommy brought me
and brought me again.
candles for night writing
and an old photo of Maude Louise
(my childhood Airedale)
all of this waiting for me
after Wallace falls asleep
and rain is drumming on the roof
quietly luring me
to my desk
Old Gousty days in August were filled with family and friends and collections of treasures from our walks in the wild woods.
The gift of good neighbors keeps on giving.
I met Ted and Tali when I was 10 years old. Exploring the forest and hills behind my family’s home, I came upon their incredibly beautiful farmstead and their far-reaching woods. They welcomed me to walk on the land, and I fell in love. 26 years later, we’re still talking about the trees and the paths and the landmarks we return to season after season. And now my daughters are learning to find their way over these same hills – and back again.
He arrived just exactly when we needed him.
And we didn’t know how much we needed him; but we did.
I’m catching up on photos from this glorious month, and I’m going to let Mary Oliver do the talking tonight . . .
In Blackwater Woods
By Mary Oliver
Look, the trees
their own bodies
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and long tapers
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
Mr. Chew, Ellen is in love with you.