Ok, it’s been a long time, blah blah blah. Moving on:
Greg’s new haircut:
The garden this year:
This is the point every year that I’m still hopeful about the garden; sadly, we haven’t gotten much of a harvest the last two years, between the birds, rabbits, and woodchucks (aka woodcharles).But rather than giving up, I’m determined that this will be the year. There’s also really good signs with the fruit trees – I thinned the baby fruit this year, so we should hopefully end up with stronger, bigger fruit in a smaller yield, rather than thousands of tiny little plums and peaches. We’re slowly figuring this all out!
Yesterday, we wanted a random road trip, but didn’t want to go to any of the Shenandoah Valley tourist sites that would be overcrowded on Memorial Day weekend. So we took a long, leisurely route to Crozet (near Charlottesville), just to go to Greenwood Gourmet Grocery. It’s a tiny little gourmet store that focuses on local and gourmet foods. We bought plum chutney, goat loin chops, a couple of really interesting bottles of local wine and beer (including one that’s a sparkling honey wine with hops), some she-crab soup (Virginia specialty), and some ume vinegar, which I’ve never been able to find before. On the way back, we decided to check out an orchard in Crozet that had a big strawberry sign, and it turned out to be my new favorite place. We picked about a half flat of strawberries (in about fifteen minutes) for about 30% of what that amount of strawberries would have cost us at the farmer’s market. The whole field just reeked of strawberry jam in the warm sunlight. I know we’ll be back there at least a couple more times, since they also have peaches and cherries. The place is called Chiles Peach Orchard, and I think they’re owned by the same company who runs Carter Mountain Orchard, one of the most famous local apple orchards. We wanted to go apple picking last fall, but had some strange experiences in Rockingham County (apple orchards where no one was around, the store was locked, and they advertised pick-your-own opportunities that didn’t exist), so we’re definitely happy to drive over to Albermarle and Nelson counties to get good pick-your-own fruit.
This is about six pounds of amazing fruit. I’ll be spending this morning making strawberry jam, so hopefully this should be enough for about six or eight half-pints. Yum! If all goes well (famous last words), we should hopefully be drowning in fruit by the end of the summer, if the plum and peach trees put out this year. Also, our CSA starts tomorrow, so I’ll have huge baskets of vegetables coming very shortly.
I’ve done a lot of traveling the past few months, but San Francisco was the most photo-worthy (other than Hannah’s wedding of course, but I don’t have those pictures, she does). 🙂