Sunday, July 23, 2017

Red Oak Garden Notes no. 26: Hosta Harvest


This year I resolved to try new things in life.  After years of my husband urging me to write more, I started my blog.  It has been surprisingly gratifying.  I spent a lifetime writing newsletters, press releases, letters, memos, emails, and the Stoxen Library blog, and one does get better at writing by, well, writing.   Reading thousands of books by really good writers is helpful too.  (Incidentally, my husband resolved to be more grateful, a worthy goal.)  Healthy distractions from the nonsense out of D.C. is as much as anything that I seek. Since I was an undergraduate I have enjoyed the essay form, and I rather like calling myself an essayist.  It is not at all likely that fame and fortune will follow, but I care about that not one whit.

I also broke down and got on Twitter.  @wilddakotawoman   It is a good source of headlines and such, and I follow writers and thinkers who I respect, including @RobertMacfarlane, @TimothyEgan, and @TerryTempestWilliams.

The other day I decided to try another new thing, in this instance with respect to gardening.  I am harvesting my hosta seeds and planting in an area in the vegetable garden to see if I can successfully propagate my plants.  If I succeed, I will add these to the garden sale that my sister and I are having this fall (perhaps this will be the "fortune" part).

Saturday was a pleasantly cool day with a gentle breeze, so I went to work.  I cut off the stems with the blossoms and carefully placed the seed pods into envelopes, which I marked with the names of the plants.




At this point, I've harvested eleven varieties.  There will be more, from plants that have not yet produced seeds.  Before I plant, I will dry these in the sun for a time.

The drying system
Hey, we're North Dakotans.  Any opportunity to eat outside is cause for celebration.
I was outside today, almost all day.  Now that's a good day.

Kobold Blazing Star

Speaking of the vegetable garden, Jim continues to harvest fresh vegetables each day.  He is the little white speck you can see in this picture.  He says planting the garden is very satisfying and harvesting it is the most satisfying thing he does, and he's done it for many decades. Soon he is going to start making pickles and I need a place to hide since I hate pickled anything.


Our year is anchored on gardening season, and we don't travel far from home in the summer for this reason.  At this point in July, I again find time to read books that are piling up.  I highly recommend this book.  Rebecca Solnit is a keen observer of the world and a brave writer.  I'm savoring it.  Her Facebook posts are excellent.



All good reasons to stay home.  Cheers!

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