Tuesday, October 16, 2012

our homestead: early autumn seed saving

Ghosty and her porch pumpkin.

October is my favorite month. Like the fleeting beauty of the blossoming of the spring cherry trees, I view this month as the golden month before the dark winter. The leaves are all turning my favorite colors: crimson, orange, plum and mustard and are dazzling both on the tree or tumbling through the wind. The fields down the hill from my home are full of big, fat pumpkins and mazes of maize (corn). And all of my favorite flowers around the yard are producing seeds for next year's garden.

 I've been collecting a variety of seeds and laying them out to dry on a rack near a basement window. Once dry, I'll roll the seeds up in paper or fill paper envelopes with them, then I'll store the seeds in an air-tight container in a dark room, such as the basement pantry. By next spring, the seeds will be ready for planting, and acclimated to my area's specific weather and soil conditions. I also plan to gift some seeds to gardening friends like I did last Christmas. It made me happy to see plants growing in my loved ones' gardens which originated from seeds I'd taken the time to save the previous growing season.

 So far, I've saved seeds from those strange chocolate and pink tomatoes I grew, the ample nasturtiums which covered my retaining wall this year,  fragrant red, white and blue sweet pea flowers, teddybear and strawberry blonde sunflowers from the vegetable garden and Bienenfreund seeds: an awesome heirloom flower I purchased from Uprising Seeds which lived up to its German name (Bee's Friend) as its whiskery violet flowers were swarmed by bees this summer.  

1. Nasturtium seeds
2. Sweet Pea pods
3. Bienenfreund seeds
4. Sunflower seeds

I've already dried ample amounts of sunflower petals to color up winter teas; I love seeing the bright yellow of a dried sunflower petal come back to life once steeped in hot water. I had a basketful of loose sunflower petals after harvesting seeds, so instead of drying more petals, I decided to have a little fun and throw them up in the air to try and catch a photo of the petals raining down.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

our homestead: our 2 year wedding anniversary

Today, October 2nd, was my husband and my two year wedding anniversary. We also met on our town's Homecoming Night on October 5th, six years ago now. The first week of October has always been a special time for us. I always knew there was something different  about October when I was growing up. Something always felt magic in the air. The leaves started to change, the fields filled with corn and pumpkins, and a crisp morning cloak of fog turned into a sunny day with rich golden light and evenings lit by giant orange harvest moons. And then I met my husband- that's probably what the magic was all about. I just didn't know it at the time. Anyway, here are a few snapshots from our wedding day, October 2nd, 2010, taken by the groom's sister, Rachel of Nickel Images. 
We celebrated our anniversary with a seafood dinner along Shilshole Bay in Ballard, Seattle. I must say, today's rich blue skies reminded me of the weather we lucked out with on our wedding day. We timed it right to watch the sun set over the Olympic Mountain Range from our vantage point at dinner- we were also married at sunset two years ago, and we took our engagement photos at sunset along the Shilshole Bay. Aww- little details that made me happy as I looked out our restaurant window today.
 I love my furbaby daddy and best friend.  I am so happy to be with Joe.