The first Sweetpea blooms for a long time, finally filling the potted-plant neighborhood with fragrance and exquisiteness. Tiny, joy-filled, color-rich confetti bits that smell like heaven should be. I am so grateful to them. They have no idea. I have been sowing Sweetpeas with little success for the past few years. It speaks to a new age, I think, that I could coax them to blooming this summer. I’ve finally arrived in a space where I might have balanced duties enough that I have a bit extra to give to them. Or balanced priorities? I like that Sweetpeas have moved up in the ranks, if that is the case.
I’ve been working on a living-pelt with one of the Navajo Churro fleeces on my back deck this summer. It is time to move on with it, I think. I’ve cleaned it and picked it over and flipped it and aired it and though it is not entirely in one piece, I can use the majority of it as such. The fleeces of the Navajo Churros, when they were shorn, were mostly matted already. They had not been shorn for a couple of seasons before they came here and their fleeces were mostly ruined. But I thought that maybe I could figure out something with one of them, and I’m on the way to that with this one. It’s been pleasing to see it cleaner and cleaner with every rainfall this past season, to watch it brighten and lighten, finding salvation for some use by gentle, natural exposure.
My Meyer Lemon Tree is loaded with lemons this summer. We used one the other night for a cocktail that Char made. It was delicious! I’ve had this tree for 6 years and this is the largest crop ever – 4 almost ready for picking, a dozen smaller ones on their way. It keeps blooming in the meanwhile and my honeybees love it.
We’ve had our first tomatoes. The priority for gardening is lower on the list that the other tasks around here. So the accomplishment of first tomatoes is something to us.
The Hopi Red Amaranthus bed is especially generous this summer. I’ve had several successful dye vats from very little material. Cutting up the stalk, leaves, and seedheads and soaking them in cold water, submerging prepared wool and taking our time, pulling out petal-shades of pinks and magentas after a fashion.
Hopi Red Amaranthus shades on our Alpaca/Merino yarns
The Hopi Red Amaranthus vat
The fiber is pulling the colors out of the vat with little to no interference from me. So pleasing to watch.
The product of our hard efforts is waiting for finishing – washing, mordanting, dyeing, washing, rinsing, drying, labeling. Readying it all for fall festivals and markets. All of the senses, all of the physical and mental tasks of bringing it to full beauty are a culmination of every season on the farm. The birth of the lambs, the moving of flocks, shearing and tending through all weather. Each and every day new challenges and new gifts to behold.