Dear Farmhouse Diary,
Nonna duty began this week!! Yipee! I'm not sure how watching my grandsons for a few hours each week could be considered a "duty" since they are the light of my life. The trip to Bend also included a great opportunity to talk with my daughter and son-in-law -- after the kiddos' bedtime -- over a slice of Buttermilk Rhubarb Cake. By-the-way, thank you dear Son for the baklava - it was delicious. I stopped by the Agia Sophia Coffee Shop and Bookstore for some coffee to go with it on my trip home and Father Damian - who is delightful -- offered me more baklava! And a fascinating story about how he became an Orthodox priest. I am looking forward to my weekly trips to Bend!
Strawberries! The first year we were in the Farmhouse we created a flower bed on the south side of the house and planted roses -- 8 roses in 20 feet! The next year we added strawberries under the floribunda roses as companion plants because I did not want to spend all my time weeding. Since then, the strawberries have taken over and make a delicious ground cover!!! Yesterday we picked the first berries of what looks like a bumper crop this year.
Omgosh. Can I get any more volunteer tomato plants in and around my garden boxes!?! Two years ago I brought home a few leftover tomato seedlings from the annual Neighbors Nourishing Communities hand-out. And I'm still getting volunteer starts -- last year was the first time I realized how prolific tomato plants can be when you don't clean up the debris adequately the previous fall. I did not need to purchase additional tomato seedlings last year and it looks like I'm good to go for this year, as well. I've transplanted a dozen starts from the onion bed to a bigger box but still have more than 3 dozen starts to give away. Thus, going to The Google to figure out how to make seedling pots out of newspaper -- they are cute and effective!
We are learning so much about our neighbors as we work in the garden and build the fence. Neighbors who have beloved therapy bunnies, who are retired from the military, who are concerned by the number of untrained dogs encountered when walking, who pause to shout from their cars about how much they like the new fence and gate. Neighbors who are so happy to just spend a few moments sharing their lives with us. And I am humbled by their kindnesses. Sharing our lives over the fence -- even if it's not yet completed -- is a time-honored way to build a solid community.