In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The dregs

Never one to waste anything, Greg took the thick dregs from our fresh cider and made bread with a beer bread recipe. Greg's Dregs Bread, I call it. Delicious. We are in the season of dregs. I comb the wood pile for aged wood. We are down to the last few gallons of the fresh apple cider we froze last fall. And our freezer full of vegetables and meat is almost empty.

Last summer we started our vegetable garden late. We had to restore the old garden bed and fence it in so the deer and rabbits couldn't get inside and all of that took us a pretty long time. It was late June before we got anything in the ground. 

I didn't have a clue what I was doing in that first garden, but things grew well anyway. And then at the end of the growing season we had piles of packages of blanched vegetables: chard, turnip and beet greens, sugar snap peas and beans. Greg made lots of soups and casseroles using the squashes and turnips and beets and carrots. He made fantastic pesto with carrot tops and parsley and walnuts, and an amazing thing with beets and walnuts. And from our cabbage he made the most incredible sauerkraut I have ever tasted in my life. It's all gone now. 

But spring is coming -- surely -- and this year we are ready. I have bought the seeds I need at Spencer's Garden Centre and I have put labels on each package for the date of planting. It looks like the leeks and cabbage and onions require indoor seed starting. So I'm ready with that too. Our green house will be the breezeway, our own little catch-all place for now.   

I know more than I did this time last year, so I think we will have a better yield, enough to last until the summer of 2010. And there's the old rhubarb patch we restored last summer. So we will have the lovely thrill of rhubarb in May, and the first snow peas and sugar snaps and mesclun and chard and early beets and early turnips, a fresh bounty, all by the end of June.    

In this dregs of winter we have run out of aged wood, vegetables, our frozen fresh cider, and patience.  Now we are waiting and watching and eager for spring in ways we never could have imagined before we moved here, back when the seasons barely affected our lives.  

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