Last Night's Late Supper, Picked By The Light Of The Moon
Once upon a time I worked in an upscale stationery store that was tastefully packed to the brim with gorgeous papers and glorious artwork. As a graphic designer, I was in heaven. As a low-paid employee, I was a bit of an idiot. I probably spent what amounted to several paycheck's worth of my hard earned cash (this was not the type of place where you were allowed to laze around behind the counter reading a book when things were slow) on merchandise. Even with my employee discount (which only served to make my buying sprees that much easier to rationalize) it was still quite a bundle. Seventeen years later, I've hardly made a dent in my stash. I will never have to buy another blank greeting card in my life.
There are two reasons I still have so much of my bounty. One is the invention of e-mail, which I both adore and abhor (because there are never any handwritten envelopes in the post office box anymore). The other is the fact that I have a hard time parting with many of the cards because I love their photographs and illustrations so much. It's like I have my very own art museum I can visit whenever I like. And if I mailed them away, how could I be sure the would-be recipients would appreciate them as much as I do?
Like most museums, the vast majority of my collection is in storage--meaning a couple of large boxes. My very favorite card, however, has been prominently displayed ever since I acquired it. At the moment, it resides right above my computer on one of my two large bulletin boards (which are supposed to be full of important notes, papers, etc. but are actually covered with all sorts of eye-catching ephemera).
It has become dirty and scuffed after all these years, so I couldn't send it to somebody if I wanted to--although I do wish I'd bought a dozen or two of them. It is, I am told from the back of the card, die stamped and printed by craftsmen from dies hand engraved on steel. The artwork is courtesy of the Medici Society Ltd. in London, and it was printed in Switzerland. In the center of the circular illustration by Minnie Aumonier is a quote in beautiful calligraphy:
When the world wearies, and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the Garden.
My garden isn't receiving anywhere near the attention it needs right now, as Lambing Season 2007 has taken over my life (it's the end of March and I haven't planted a single tomato or pepper seed!). But that is how it works on a farm--there is always something stealing your attention away from the task at hand. And animals must come before plants.
Fortunately there are overwintered Swiss chard and arugula plants* in the greenhouse, my faithful chives have made their early spring appearance once again, and the seeds I did manage to get planted over the past few weeks have already become promising little sprouts.
Of course you don't need two dozen raised beds or a greenhouse to find solace in the garden. It only takes one small clump of flowers to bring on a smile.
A year of Farm Photos ago:
3/29/06: They Certainly Do Learn Early
3/28/06: It Seems Like They Never Stop Moving
And out of the kitchen came: Garlic Lover's White Bean Soup
Note: This recipe was included in "Something For Nothing," a one-time event hosted by Lindy at the always delightful and delicious Toast. It celebrates favorite recipes for low funds, empty cupboards, and hard times--but you'd never know it from looking through this wonderful collection of mouthwatering dishes.
*Now is the time to plant arugula and lettuce in many areas. Click here to learn how easy it is to go from seed to salad bowl in less than a month--no matter where you live, and even if your garden consists of a couple of buckets and a plastic dish tub. Really.