October Green

273 :: Wooded

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 . . .

271 :: Succulent

274 :: October Poetry

274 :: Maybe the Last Bouquet?

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.

272 :: Back to Work in the Greenhouse

276 :: Mud Land

Fermentation Family

265 :: Fermentation Factory

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.

266 :: Harvesting Wild Grapes

After the Giardiniera project, we made wild grape soda: one of our September traditions and favorite ferments!

266 :: Wild Grapes

268 :: Wild Grape Soda

While the Girls are at School

253 :: Back To Work

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!

250 :: While the Girls Were at School

250 :: The Mess

263 :: Little Man Painting

264 :: Pillow Pile

269 :: Drawer Boy

262 :: Greenhouse with Bugs

255 :: Mirror

My Desk with Little Hands

244 :: My Writing Desk with Little Hands

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
to write.

236 :: The Roses

240 :: Rose Petals

242 :: More Rose Petals

A Visitor in My Own Garden

221 :: More Nasturtiums

226 :: Arugula

when I picked this arugula
I had no idea
there were acorns involved,
stacks of dishes
and tomatoes.

it was unclear if the yellow ones were ripe.
were they a new variety?

I usually forget to label the plants
when I put them in the ground
and I have to return to my notebook
filled with notes on seed starting
mixed with lists
of tomato varieties
and basil in the same tray –
a few poems between the lines,
and smudged ink from tears

knowing I was planting the seeds
of tomatoes he would
never taste.

226 :: Long Day

226 :: Fuzz Head

Leftovers

170 :: Leftovers

I’m cleaning out a
cupboard of watercolors
and art supplies
and nature journals
and clay, and I am cleaning
but this is what I end up doing
instead:
laying out the bits and pieces
of a homeschool year
as a sort of still life
on the kitchen table,
and admiring all the little
reminders of a creative life
lived here
in the this home
filled with birdsong
and love.

Welcome Back to the Jungle

159 :: The "Lawn"

This is what the “lawn” looks like after six weeks away.

165 :: Garden Jungle

And the garden is a jungle. But at least there is kale growing in the jungle. And lots of garlic. Oh, and volunteer plants I would have weeded out weeks ago. How I love the volunteers. And so they get to stay. Nasturtiums in the garlic beds. Cosmos in the onions. Calendula everywhere. Hundreds of borage plants for the bees.

160 :: Chef

166 :: Minty

The garden is wild. The children have not brushed their hair in days. The puppy is happy.

162 :: Theo Boy

The chickens are settling back in.

161 :: Bird

And sometimes Amabel and I spend the morning collecting beautiful bits of plants and arranging them just so, creating this lovely, yet rather pointless assortment . . . instead of weeding, but . . . it’s lovely here, in the jungle, isn’t it?

165 :: Making Order

May Reading

137 :: May Book Stack

We are reading so many good books this month! Being at Gousty is bringing out the reading in all of us. The stack of books that Amabel has read to herself this month is even higher than the stack in this photo! Many of the chapter books that I read as a child and adolescent are in this house (the actual copies!), and I love coming into the living room to find her curled up on the couch with one of my old books in her lap.

140 :: Morning Work