Last weekend was kind of the pits. The cherry tree was LOADED with beautiful red fruit–plenty for the birds and for us. But mother nature decided to deliver a blow—literally. The farm sits atop a hill, and it can get very windy at times. It was so windy last week that the top heavy cherry tree split in half!
But we are a can-do group and spliced the tree back together using the nylon straps we use to secure large items in the back of the truck during transport. Farmer John also whipped up a tree tonic which he read about in a great book called The Backyard Problem Solver by master gardener Jerry Baker. The tonic consists of ¼ cup of ammonia, ¼ cup of liquid dish soap, and ¼ cup of antiseptic mouthwash. You pour all of these into one gallon of water and then spray it on the damaged area. Next we’ll bandage the wound with some latex paint. I hope all of these items are part of your garden first aid kit.
Emergency preparedness is just part of life on the farm.
To see the fruit of our labors, check out the cherry pie “how-to” on the HowToo blog, including our secret cherry-pitting weaponry
I cannot tell a lie. The reason we started blogging was not to turn into internet superstars. We wanted to share our joy of each pastoral discovery with others. A few weeks ago, reader Kenn , who is the author of the fabulous blog HouseBlend, took the Beekman 1802 logo and created t-shirts. We love them.
Here we are demonstrating our farmer’s tans and our gardening physique:
Kenn even included the “hand-made” check boxes that you see on all of our soaps! Who knows, maybe if you visit his blog and say something nice you can get him to make you one, too.
One of our regular blog readers, Nancy T., drove all the way out from Ohio with her family and paid a visit to the farm. Unfortunately, we were still toiling away in the city when she stopped by, but Farmer John gave her a tour. He said that her two children were the most polite he had ever seen. I don’t know if a parent can actually get a better compliment.
THE TRAIN REPORT (each week I’ll also give you a glimpse on what our train ride was like):
The train left Penn Station only 5 minutes late, but somehow managed to lose another 25 minutes somewhere along the way. It was the start of a three day weekend, so we were on a later train than usual and didn’t get to the farm until midnight. We sat beside a young woman who had very annoying conversations at an annoying volume on her cell phone. I could tell that the people she was talking to on the other end were rolling their eyes. I could just tell.
We made the most of the three-day weekend. Lots of weeds were pulled and garden work accomplished. But we also had ample time for swimming in the concrete pond and for visiting with friends.
We were able to pull off the first brunch of the summer using only things we harvested from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Garden.
I think Martha would be proud of my floral arrangement for the centerpiece.
This wonderful salad included arugula, butterhead bib lettuce, scallions, Cylindra beets (roasted), Chioggia beets (the beautiful ones with concentric rings, sliced raw), boiled new potatoes (Bintje and Durango), and delicious green peas – picked, shelled, blanched and eaten in under 30 minutes – they were as sweet as candy
But this weekend was really about the Fourth of July.
Instead of showing you pictures of fireworks illuminating the night sky (which never capture the awe of the moment anyway), I thought I’d end this blog with some of the garden’s natural color explosions. I like to think of them as fireworks for the daytime sky.
This is a smoke tree that is over 60 years old. Most people have never seen a smoke tree, let alone one this large.
In two weeks, these billowy blossoms will turn from pink to gray, and the tree will go from looking like it is aflame to merely smoldering, kind of like the trails that criss cross the sky as a fireworks display fizzles out.
The Beekman equivalent to roman candles
We have several different varieties of Rudbeckia in the flower garden. This is the first variety to bloom.
This is what fireworks would look like if you were flying over them in an airplance.
This would have been part of the “spectacular” that ends the fireworks display—can’t you just hear the symphony playing?
I believe the farm is trying to tell me that next year there better be some bunting hanging from these balustrades.
THE TRAIN REPORT:
The train was sold out, but everyone, even the little children sitting behind us, were well-behaved. Either they, too, were worn out by a weekend of sunshine, parades, explosions and cook-outs…or Nancy T had a word with them before she left for home.