…or should I say, Autumn hah-vest? (Couldn’t resist a nod to Beantown this week.)
When K and I talk about eventually moving out of Boston and into the suburbs, there is usually some discussion around property “must-haves.” We each have our own list; for example, his includes “ample storage space” and mine includes “wood-burning fireplace.” (Big mystery there on who’s the voice of reason in the relationship!) Still, one must-have that both our lists share is a suitable outdoor space for a big garden.
Earlier this fall, after some volunteer work out in Worcester, one of my co-workers invited us over for afternoon refreshments and a special peek at her family’s garden, which I was secretly dying to see. Over the summer, Anne had spoiled me on several occasions with samples of her fresh eggs, heady herbs, and juicy tomatoes. There were always little anecdotes that accompanied the goody-bag; maybe something funny with the chickens – “the girls” as she calls them. Every gift from the garden was truly a treat, and tasted that much better knowing it came from the carefully tended earth in Anne’s backyard.
Though I mention Anne’s name several times above, she’d be quick to interrupt here and point out that her husband, Jerome, should be credited for most things cultivated on their little micro-farm in Rochdale. In addition to raising three chickens and a bountiful veggie garden, the two also keep honeybees and maintain an impressive solar panel grid which powers their home. (100% of their electricity comes from the panels pictured below.) While we walked the property, Anne talked about how much research went into the strategic positioning of the panels so to maximize their output. She shared that a personal point of pride for Jerome was a few weeks post-construction when the solar company actually called the house and asked, “What’s your secret???” Apparently their performance was tracking above average, which sparked some interest with the solar techs. When I asked if they had determined what was driving the high output, Jerome smiled and shrugged modestly before saying, “I do get up there and clean them.” Talk about dedication.
Pretty soon the sun got low in the sky. We said our goodbyes and K loaded up the car with our goody-bags of produce that Anne insisted we take home with us. “We have so much,” she said, “we’re going to wind up donating a lot of it.” Needless to say, I’ve since been experimenting with a number of squash recipes which I’ll save for a future post.
Below are a few photo highlights from Anne & Jerome’s fall harvest. If you’re like me, this will inspire your “must-have” garden for seasons to come.