watching him work with a spoon
in the emerging mud
layers of ice
ice once so hard,
impossible to break through.
Remember the morning we couldn’t leave,
couldn’t get into our car
covered in ice so thick, so cold
the doors frozen shut?
Remember the night we couldn’t speak
because there was so much frozen
When we cut them
down in the swamp
the fuzz was nearly invisible,
still tucked inside.
Two days in the house,
and here they are.
Warmth does that.
It’s so wintery outside today — the girls and I were inspired to go out and gather little bits of red and green to make candle wreaths for the dinner table. I love to watch the enthusiasm they bring to these little projects that we’ve been doing together since they were tiny and it was mostly me doing the crafting. Now, it is mostly them. And I’m just the photographer.
a little late this year
220 cloves in the ground
and just in time too;
for tomorrow it may be
all covered with snow
Bringing in the house plants that spent the summer outside; wondering at how much they’ve grown; getting soil all over the kitchen table and floor and counter . . .
The greenhouse seed babies are thriving and this little man has been busy making a mud pit full of “hot cocoa” just outside the door. I’m thinning and he’s brewing; so come on over for some cool microgreens and warm drinks! I love gardening in this giant terrarium on the cusp of autumn. It’s such a paradox to watch new life burst forth as everything else outside slows down and lets go.
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!
You may be wondering if Wallace is very sad and misses his girls terribly when they are at school. After two years of homeschooling, it is certainly a change to have them gone during the school day. And, yes, he does miss them. A lot. He asks about them when they are gone and he likes me to tell stories about them. But, he certainly keeps busy! And he keeps me busy. And he keeps Jeffrey busy. And he deconstructs many things around the house whenever I try to “get something done.” But it is a joy to have so much time one-on-one with Wallace; I feel like I’m getting to know him differently without his sisters. And, oh boy, is he excited when the time comes to pick them up every afternoon!