Autumn Days~

And so it is, that Autumn has once again found her way up the wooded path, to Honey Grove.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And everything, since her arrival, appears to be more golden.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

More red.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

More yellow.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And even on the greyest of days, there appears to be some sun shining, for there are sunflowers as tall as trees, with bright yellow suns at the end of every branch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Oh yellow, what is it about yellow? It is, I am sure, the colour of happiness.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And if yellow is the colour of happiness, than I am surrounded here on Honey Grove. Gosh, I shall have to remember this the next time I am feeling blue. Thank goodness for gardens.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sometimes, I go through the garden gate just to stop and stare at the beauty there.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only later, I wonder why I did not bring a basket with me. Something big enough to hold the gathered greens.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

And cabbages.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And turnips too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd soon there will be brussel-sprouts.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And winter carrots.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But for now, we still have autumn fruiting raspberries.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And pears and apples, harvested just days ago, by Cohen and Katie.

IMG_20150913_153615Yes, apples, such a lot of apples.

IMG_20150913_144211

Some are now becoming cider, while others are drying in the dehydrator; their perfume infusing the kitchen and the garden beyond. The rest of them, the very luckiest of apples, have been turned into Katie’s amazing apple pie, for Katie is a master pie maker like no other.

IMG_20150914_200713

Come to think of it, she is a master of many things. She is also pretty incredible with a chainsaw.

IMG-20150908-WA0000 (1)

Which is a darn good thing, for while she and Mark saw, Cohen chops and I stack, and together we are getting it done, getting ready for winter.

IMG_20150911_181615

For winter is coming, and even if we are not quite ready, at least the bees are.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Their hives are full to the brim with summer’s honey. I suppose though, that we have done our version of this too, preserving summer’s abundance in the way of food and medicine. The cellar is full and there are herbs now hanging from every spare rafter in this little house. Cohen calls my hanging herbals “Taxidermy for Vegetarians ” (and everyone laughs heartily).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And while the herbs are drying, and Katie is making pies, Mark, is still baking.

dough4

This rural community of ours has been so supportive of his bread. People are coming all the way to Honey Grove, on Friday afternoons, to buy his bread, or to find him at our local markets, and we are overflowing with gratitude for their support. Thank You Everyone. Thank You. Thank You.

end3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, there is nothing like homemade-woodfire-sourdough-bread to put the world right. And fresh bread, combined with Gus’s secret of the universe (which is, incase you have forgotten, not to worry) well, it just makes everything okay. I am convinced that the smell of fresh bread alone, has the power to change the world.  Just ask Gus.

IMG_4072

And now, I bid you farewell, for the bread is coming out of the oven this very minute, and it seems that my assistance is required.

May this find you in the midst of a beautiful day.

Until Soon,

Nao, Mark, Gus, Cohen, Katie and All at Honey Grove~

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

Posted in Autumn, General | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A Summer In Pictures

And so it can be said, that another summer at Honey Grove has passed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sitting here on this first day of September, the long awaited rain is finally coming down and there are no words left. There is not a thing to say, or think, or be. The poetic musings have retired for the moment and there is only stillness, a deep and all abiding stillness. A necessary stillness. A sweet and blessed and much required stillness. But before the stillness, there was summer and it looked like this: It looked like 400 pounds of fireweed honey.

IMG_20150720_110200

IMG_20150720_114817

And two solid days of hand extraction.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But it was all worth it, every back-breaking/hive-lifting moment, for there is nothing like the sweet golden alchemy of honey and the sacred company of bees to put the world right. The bees even brought home a blue ribbon from the Fall Fair last week, making us all very proud.

IMG_20150830_174257-1

Otherwise, there was the garden which fed and fed and fed us. A garden that is still feeding us and reminding us that despite the heartbreak of the world, there is still a particular quality of morning light that insists there is always some beauty to behold.

IMG_20150820_083218

Just like there are always more zucchinis to eat, or give away.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And there are hedges of kale that have the ability to make you feel healthier by simply gazing upon them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And there are squash.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yes, there are lots and lots of squash…and some of them have left the confinement of the garden fence entirely in search of broader pasture.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Perhaps they are feeling out numbered by the flowers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd to be fair, there are such a lot of flowers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Which Katie and I have fallen totally in love with, because we are women and women love flowers, we do, we just do.

IMG_20150823_141109

And if I have ever wondered, what it might be like to be a faerie creature in a petaled forest, I now know. And Mark tells me that I might be careful what I wish for, for he says that an eternity in Faerie, is never a good plan, and I have to believe him, for the English seem to know these things.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And these flowers, bless them, for their beauty helped us to celebrate Cohen and Katie’s wedding. That’s right, Cohen and Katie got married and their beautiful celebration took place here on Honey Grove just a few short weeks ago.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And beautiful it was.

11873664_10152905812215916_5088675787310883723_n

And delicious too, for you will not believe me when I tell you that Cohen and Katie catered their own wedding (a 5 course Italian meal for 70 people, featuring the Honey Grove Harvest, all things local and homegrown). It was a marvel of a task and even they have not fully integrated what it is that they pulled off.

IMG_20150726_184658

Oh and this is not to mention the wood-fire pizza night that they hosted the night before their big day.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Which as you might imagine, was a smashing success.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And speaking of the brick oven, have I mentioned that Mark has fully launched the Honey Grove Bakery? And that he is now selling his  wood-fire sourdough bread three times a week (made of freshly ground organic grains, grown locally whenever possible). And did I mention that his bread is a work of art? I mean truly, it is, it really really is, look.

Honey Grove Farm-149-Edit

A special thanks to photographer Bill Jorgensen of Courtenay BC, for coming out to our farm and taking these beautiful photographs of our baker at work.

Honey Grove Farm-132

 

And now, I must be away, for there is sauerkraut to make and there are more apples to gather, but mostly, there is a profound quality of stillness that has invited me to pause at the end of an unimaginable summer. An invitation that I have fully accepted.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABlessings From The Honey Grove Harvest,

Nao, Mark, Gus, Cohen, Katie and All at Honey Grove.

DSCN2276PS- Gus sends his regards from the lower field where he is playing in tall grass. He says that although he has no wise words for you today, he is quite sure that the trees might. He would like me to let you know that he himself is heading out into the forest at this very moment to find out what they have to say.  I rather think I will join him.

Posted in General, summer, Sustainability | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments