Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Happy Place, Part 2

Last week I left you with the tempting idea of Tree Collards.  My dream began to unfold for you as you saw ideas involving an English Cottage and Espalier grown fruit trees, raised bed and vertical gardens.  Are you sighing at the thought of such a utopia?  I am, at least for now while I am sitting here writing this post.  Then I have to get outside and take care of my plants.  But for now, I do want to share a bit more with you!

Strolling between my orchard of Espalier trees, is where you will find my raised beds with a variety of heirloom vegetables.  Oh yes.  No normal commercial produce is going into my Utopia.  Eat the rainbow and live healthy!  Everything from indigo sweet corn to purple potatoes, fuchsia chard and red eggplants!  These are not things you will find in your grocery store, but these are the things that our great grandparents may have eaten and found perfectly normal.  A great place to find these heirlooms are the Seed Savers ExchangeCheck it out, you will love it!  If all your kids have ever known for produce is what is bought in a store, I would suggest trying to grow one or two new plants a year, just to broaden their horizons and their palette!

I have no doubt that there are people that only like to flower garden.  Who wants productive plants when you can just sit and look at them?  Well, don't worry, I will have some pretties too.  And I will eat them.  Yes, edible flowers are excellent sources of anti-oxidants!  Capers are my favorites, they are unopened flowers or buds.  SO good in pasta salads!!!  Pansies, honeysuckle and even the squash flowers are edible.  These will be excellent in a green smoothie!

What is a utopia without herbs?  Spice is the flavor of life!  I love to add flavor to whatever I am cooking whether it is actually cooked or chopped and served raw.  Some of my favorites to work with are cumin and chili powder.  And even though chives, onions and garlic can technically be classified as vegetables, I use them nearly everyday for flavor in something or other.  I think it would be lovely to attempt to recreate a plot right out the kitchen door reminiscent of an English herb garden.

I mentioned in last weeks post that I am interested in learning spinning and weaving.  I would love to grow flax for that purpose, but also flax seeds are so versatile!  They are an excellent source of Omega 3 fat that our bodies need without the harmful side effects that fish or red meat can bring.  Linen cloth (made from flax) is an amazing cloth!  Many people claim that it has healing properties and of course the more it is worn the softer it feels.  Another plant that I am interested in growing for spinning and weaving purposes is cotton.  I have loved cotton since I was a little girl!  I love the texture and my whole family loves to sew with cotton.  It also is SO versatile!  Both can be made into clothing or bedding or whatever you need it for.

These flax flowers are just glorious!

Doesn't this cotton field look happy?

At the end of a perfect day filled with productivity, when the temperature is just right and there is a slight breeze, somewhere, tucked away on the property there will be a hidden getaway, my little retreat.  A place to call refuge that will offer a calm atmosphere for reflection.  In the distance perhaps there will be the sounds of a bubbling brook, or even the sweet singing of birds to add peaceful serenity.  This would be the place to open and read a treasured friend such as Jane Austen, L.M. Montogomery, Louise May Alcott, or even Elizabeth Gaskell.

Bishop's Garden Gazebo

How do you feel about what I have written?  What are your thoughts about people who are willing to do the hard work and take the time and effort to build a dream?  Are you one of those people?  Are you willing to work hard to make a dream come true? 
If so, you will love next weeks post!