SALT/SEA

From the garden

  • Off to a start.

    Off to a start.

    Well, here we are, 2017. I'm not so sure how I feel about you so far, considering the current political state. But I'm hopeful the energy of the world's disapproval can be channeled into changing things. 

    In contrast, things are great in the bubble. The cape is on fire this time of year. Quiet and peaceful. Almost lonely, but not quite that sad. 

    Meanwhile, in my brain, summer is in the works. Market planning has begun, along with plans for a pretty special, exciting, awesome collaboration for the spring/summer season. Stay tuned.

  • Sunrise/sunset

    Sunrise/sunset

    Fall foliage on Cape Cod isn't what the rest of New England Leaf Peepers are used to. There aren't many oaks, maples, or birch. Instead, we have pitch pine, white pine, scrub pine; trees that stand in stark contrast to the sky, the sand, the sea. Instead, we have sunrises and sunsets that literally take your breath away.  

    A friend of mine told me, 'you live in a Maxfield Parrish painting.'

    Around the garden and in the studio, new goods have come from this seasons' harvest: lip balm made with calendula and chamomile, geranium oil infused with yarrow, cedar salve infused with comfrey.  

    Recently added to the shop: new batches of incense made with cedar from our land. Not an easy process, it starts with dried and finely ground cedar (both needles and wood, using both a blender and a hand sander), frankincense, myrrh, and makko powder. 

    The ingredients are mixed with distilled water until the right consistency to form into the tiny pyramid shape. To cure, they are dried in a very, very low oven for 3+ hours and then air cure for 24.

    Then, the test.

  • New news

    New news

    It's been two long months since I last was here. I'll try to fill you in quickly, with photos.

    New news: the FRESH COLLECTIVE has opened! An extension of the Orleans Farmers' Market, the FC will feature a rotating schedule of vendors in the farm stand throughout the summer. The stand is located at 120 rt 6A in downtown Orleans. Find me there on Thursdays from 2-6 with Heather from The Optimal Kitchen, and later this July, Marie of North Forty Textiles/Checkerberry Farm

    Speaking of, more linen sets coming soon!

    Waiting for news of the Moon Planting Calendar? New format coming!!! July - December garden planning calendar printed on paper for easy hanging and reference.

    Artwork for the 2017 linen towel is currently in the works - hoping for a late fall debut. 

    See you at the markets! 

    Summer market schedule:

  • The official goodbye & good riddance to winter.

    The official goodbye & good riddance to winter.

    MARKET SCHEDULE:

    Saturdays at the Orleans Farmers' Market

    Wednesdays, starting May 18th, at the Wellfleet Farmers' Market

    What are we growing? 

    FLOWERS/HERBS:

    Angelica - A. archangelica

    ArtemisiaA. annua

    Bachelor Button - Centaurea cyanus 

    Bee Balm - Monarda citriodora 

    Borage - B. officinalis

    Calendula - C. officinalis 

    Echinacea - E. purpurea 

    Eucalyptus - E. gunnii

    Globe Thisle - Echinops bannaticus

    Hyssop - Hyssopus officinalis 

    Lemon Balm - Melissa officinalis 

    Nigella - N. sativa

    Pincushion - Scabiosa stellata, S. atropurpurea

    Queen Anne's Lace - Daucus carota

    Roman Chamomile - Chamaemelum nobile 

    SageSalvia faroa, S. horminum

    Sea Holly - Eryngium planum

    Strawflower - Bracteantha bracteata

    Sunflower - Helianthus annuus

    Tassle Flower -  Emilia coccinea

    PRODUCE:

    Artichoke - Cynara scolymus

    Basil - Ocimum basilicum

    Broccoli Raab - heirloom

    Butternut Squash Cucurbita moschata

    Corn - Zea mays

    Cucumber - Cucumis sativus

    DillAnthenium graveoleus

    Eggplant Solanum melongena

    Kale Brassica napus

    Lettuce - Lactuca sativa

    Nasturtium - Trapeolum majus

    Parsley - Petroselinum crispum

    Parsnip - Pastinaca sativa

    Tomato - Solanum lycopersicum, Lycopersicon esculentum

    Snap Pea - Phaseolus vulgaris

    Snow Pea - Pisum sativum

    Spinach Spinacia oleracea

    Watermelon - Citrullus lanatus

    Here's to hoping the rabbits don't eat it all.

     

  • Moon (and heart) in Virgo.

    Moon (and heart) in Virgo.

    Yesterday was spent in the garden planting & seeding with a Virgo moon in mind. An earth sign, strong and grounded (like most Virgos I know), planting under this moon is said to nuture healthy roots. 

    (My favorite Virgo:)

    I'm impressed by the growth of last year's herbs: self-seeded chamomile, leafy yarrow, healing comfrey nestled inbetween bachelor buttons (also from last summer).....and GARLIC! 

    Today the moon moves into the airy sign of Libra. Flower and herb seeds will go in the ground: chamomile, sea holly, hyssop, pyrethrum, valerian. 

    I'm also still catching up on my vegetable plantings. Peas, potatoes, chives, nasturtiums, lettuce, parsley will be seeded today too along with a couple of flats of flowers to start inside under the growlights. Although looking again at this (long) list, I'm not feeling so sure all of it will get done. The tendency for distraction in the garden is probable....I always get lost in the view.

  • Planting calendar.

    Planting calendar.

    I can't keep my seedlings straight. There's too many to keep track of and they're starting to take over the rest of the house. To maintain a sense of order, I make lists. Here's how I'll be transplanting and seed starting during the moon's first quarter.

    Next quarter info posted soon.

  • Listmaker.

    Listmaker.

    I find all I do lately is walk around the garden weeding, making lists, wishing it were time to set my seedlings out. I wander, putter, but when all is said and done, nothing really gets done. It's too soon, regardless of how lush the yarrow has become and how many new chamomile fronds are popping up all over their hangout spot from last year. Snow is in the forecast for next week, so all the baby plants will have to stay inside and continue to be babied. Some are in the living room, some in the kitchen, some in the closet I turned into a grow room. Each morning, it's a process to water them all. 

    So, I make lists: where all the seedlings will go in the garden, when they will bloom, what I'll be bringing to the farmers markets this coming season. There's something about writing it down, putting it in place, crossing it off that comforts me. 

    I never realized how type A I really am.

    Spring is here! Boston is due to be in the 70's, but the Cape has its own plan when it comes to the weather: chilly with the most incredible skies. 

     

    Until the soil warms, you can find me at the Orleans Winter Farmers Market. Be sure to stop by this Saturday for a little talk I'm giving on herbs!

  • This is the sun that warms the earth.

    This is the sun that warms the earth.

    Dorothy Sterling & Winnie Lubell worked together on a quite a few nature books in the 50's. Both lived on the outer Cape in Wellfleet, MA, home to a number of authors, illustrators, designers: Noam Chomsky, Ati Gropius, Juliet Kepes, Marcel Breuer, etc. etc.

    The Cape Cod Modern House Trust is currently working on an exciting exhibit featuring some of these talented visionaries. Stay tuned for more information, as well as info and dates on the mid-century modern house tours I'll be giving this summer.

    In the meantime, signs of spring:

  • NYC, here we come!

    NYC, here we come!

    We'll be packing up our goods for the Remodelista NYC Market on March 12 + 13! Hosted by Canvas Home in their showroom, the market will feature over 40 local NY artisans and a few from far away places, like us! 

    Along with a collection of potted healing herbs and seedlings, here's what we're working on in the studio to bring to the market:

    TIGER MAPLE BOARDS 

    CEDAR SALVE

    CALENDULA OIL

    CEDAR INCENSE 

    SMUDGE STICKS

    HERB BUNDLES

    and more!

  • By the light of the moon.

    By the light of the moon.

    This spring, I'm using some help from the moon to determine my seeding and planting schedule. Our connection with the moon is as old as we are. Before our earth was flooded with artificial light, the moon and sun held court over every decision made; a natural world order. The path of the moon was a guide. Its placement in the sky, its fullness or emptiness, its relation to the sun. These were our tools. 

    When the moon is in opposition to the sun, we experience our highest tides, all due to the strength of the moon's gravitational pull. The earth's bounty of water floods closer the surface, answering to the call.

    Doesn't this seem like an obvious time to plant? 

    Aries - a barren Fire sign. Best for garden tasks.

    Taurus - an Earth sign. Good for root crops and transplanting.

    Gemini - a barren Air sign. Another good time for tasks in the garden.

    Cancer - a Water sign, and the BEST sign to plant in.

    Leo - a Fire sign, and the most barren. 

    Virgo - an Earth sign. Best for flowers and vines. 

    Libra - a semi-fruitful Air sign. Good for root crops.

    Scorpio - a Water sign. Best for tomatoes and plants needing strong, sturdy vines.

    Sagittarius - a barren Fire sign. Best for soil cultivation and planting onions.  

    Capricorn - an Earth sign. Good for planting tubers and root crops. 

    Aquarius - a barren Air sign. Best for weeding and cultivating. 

    Pisces - the second best Water sign to plant in. Yields strong root development. 

    I have no idea if this will work, and lunar gardening hasn't been proven or disproven either way. But using these ancient tools leaves me feeling an incredible connection to the past. Looking up to the sky for answers has always intrigued me. We live in an age where every question has an answer we can get in seconds. Our tools are different now: they have names like Google and Siri and we spend most of our time looking down at tiny screens for their sage advice. 

    It's nice to look up for a change and let the natural world order of nature be my guide. 

  • Snow and the impromptu canoe ride.

    Snow and the impromptu canoe ride.

    The girls are the hardest workers in our garden. Over the summer, I set set up an extra little run for them to till and fertilize. It's now covered in snow, but I'll be planting lots and lots of globe amaranth for the summer markets in the very spot they spent the past 6 months. The long lasting blooms can be dried, perfect for markets in the fall and winter (if all goes well with my thumb's green side). 

    So far, the milk thistle bunch is coming along nicely. The tiny second set of leaves have begun to unfurl and even they show signs of the beautiful mottled pattern the plant is known for. Eventually, in April or so, these will be planted alongside our property line, the border in our herb garden. Aside from edible greens and powerful seeds, they've been known to grow up to 80"! 

    This little guy has a-ways-to-go:

    And then there was snow.

    Wet & heavy, the snow clung to everything. Our trees were lucky, but we saw many over the weekend on our travels that weren't: toppled over into yards, the road, driveways. But in the woods? We couldn't tell. Had things always been like that? 

    The snow is always able to reveal a new landscape, whether by force or by simple trick of the eye. On the drive home along the ocean, where the nor'easter had whipped away most of the white stuff, I noticed how scraggly the pines grew. Forced to fight the winds, the scrub pine along the seashore grow out and low, more like bonsai trees than the usual majestic trunks of the inland pines. These pines have been coddled, you could say, allowed to grow true and straight, up towards the sky.

    Those seeds were lucky, landing in the spot they did. 

  • Vote!!!

    Vote!!!

    Thomas and I are honored, humbled, and pretty darn excited to be finalists in MARTHA STEWART AMERICAN MADE….and today is the day voting begins! A panel of MS judges will choose a group of winners, but there is also one Audience Choice Winner. You can vote up to 6 times a day, everyday (!!!) until the contest ends on October 19th.  We would be so grateful for your vote. 

    VOTE HERE!

  • Herbs and the Earth

    Herbs and the Earth

    'When we were planning our move to the Cape, I came across The Outermost House. Living in a tiny shack on the dunes of the outer beach, Beston wrote of the ocean and tides, the birds and animals, and both the beauty and cruelty of nature. 

    A few weeks ago at a yard sale near our house, I stumbled across another Beston book and could barely contain my excitement. 

    His words came into my life with perfect timing.

    'A garden is the mirror of the mind. It is a place of life, a mystery of green moving to the pulse of the year, and pressing on and pausing the while to its own inherent rhythms.'

    'In making a garden there is something to be sought, and something to be found. To be sought is a sense of the lovely and assured, of garden permanence and order, of human association and human meaning; to be found is beauty and that unfolding content and occupation which is one of the lamps of peace.'

    'True humanity is no inherent right but an achievement; and only through the earth may we be as one with all who have been and all who are yet to be, sharers and partakers of the mystery of living, reaching to the full of human peace and the full of human joy.'