Celebrating the end of summer and beginning of fall, here are some frames from our summer garden.

Earlier this week, I finally ripped out the last of our tomato plants, putting them out of their misery after they withstood weeks of hot humidity and several attacks by spider mites.  We’ve picked our pomegranates, cured our pumpkins, and entered into the dreaded end-of-summer heat, which combined with our limited watering has our garden looking pretty parched.

While my note taking started strong, with drawings and everything, somewhere between wedding number 11 and 29 my “precise” measurements were relegated to, “Arugula = LOTS,” and accurate weights for only some produce.  Our big winners for this season were of course the pomegranate tree, which bore over 60 pounds of fruit, our white pumpkin plant (lumina) which produced 5 pumpkins for a combined weight of over 45 pounds, and all our hot pepper plants, which we have more than we even know what to do with.  This season we also had great success with butternut squash, sweet banana peppers, and sweet basil (all of which are still going strong).  Plus we had mini eggplant for daaaays.  We had moderate success with tomatoes, specifically the moneymaker variety, and even greater success with one plant in particular that just sprouted in our backyard.  That vigilante produced one fruit that weighed almost three quarters of a pound!  Our least successful plants included our summer squashes, watermelon, and cucumbers.  Next year, I will direct sow all of those, and put them in a sunnier spot!  Hopefully that will help.

Other seasonal notes + memories:

  • Our dog decided he wanted to help harvest tomatoes, carefully plucking them off the vine and leaving them all over the living room.
  • We got four baby chicks!  They aren’t laying yet, but are about 5 months old, so they should start laying soon.
  • Tyler put in a brick patio (sore subject, don’t ask him about it),
  • And made me a gardening bench (awesome, you can ask him about that).
  • We planted some carrots, which we thought the skunks completely devoured, only to find them buried in our raised bed.
  • We have gotten to try tons of new recipes with our produce, like butternut gnocci, and make up our own versions of pasta sauce, pumpkin ravioli, drunken honey habanero barbecue sauce, and more.

So incredibly thankful for the opportunity to tend to and learn from the garden.  I think I was made for this.

  • Chris - Lauren & Tyler – this is awesome! I loved the pictures and the details of the harvest this year. I used to garden a lot a few years ago, but don’t have the space at my current house. I hope to be able to garden again soon!

    Thanks for posting!ReplyCancel

    • Lauren - Ah, Chris! Thanks for the note :) If you are ever down here, we’d love to have you over and make you a meal from the garden!ReplyCancel

  • mom - Awesome! You guys ROCK!ReplyCancel

Grand Teton National Park at Sunset

I was never one for road trips growing up.  Having a weak stomach, long car rides were synonymous with nausea and listening to 94.7 KSSJ “smooth jazz” at the mercy of my dear mother, the driver.  Maybe it was my impatience, the Kenny G, occasional whiffs of cow manure up and down the I-5, or a combination of them all, but I was always anxious to get where we were going, wanting nothing to do with the in between.

Since then, I’ve come to appreciate road trips.  Not only for where we are going, but the in between.  Amid our given surroundings and company, there is always something beautiful to be discovered.  This is obvious in the spectacular and worth seeking out in the mundane.

At least that was true of our three thousand something mile trip from LA to Montana and back.  With a loose agenda in mind, ice chest full of snacks, two cameras, a dozen Freakonomics episodes, season one of Serial, and The Chronicles of Narnia on tape, Tyler and I traveled through Zion National Park and Grand Teton National Park up to Yellowstone.  Some highlights include hiking through The Narrows and up Angel’s Landing in Zion, sitting quietly by campfire in Montana, and seeing the craziest colors in the geothermal pools of Yellowstone.

Thinking back, though, some of the sweetest memories weren’t in destinations, but along the way: finding a sunny spot on high ground to eat lunch in the Virgin River, stumbling upon some bison at dusk in Grand Teton, chasing the sunset while it poured through Idaho, seeing a mama black bear and her two “cinnamon” cubs from a friendly enthusiast’s scope, and pioneering a moose jam in Yellowstone, just to name a few.

I wonder what I missed out on during those childhood car rides.

 

Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient because of the journey.

Numbers 21:4

Zion National ParkZion National ParkThe Narrows, Zion National ParkThe Narrows, Zion National ParkThe Narrows, Zion National ParkThe Narrows, Zion National ParkThe Narrows, Zion National ParkZion National ParkZion National ParkAngelAngelDrive Through IdahoDrive Through IdahoGrand Teton National ParkGrand Teton National ParkGrand Teton National ParkGrand Teton National Park at SunsetGrand Teton National Park at SunsetGrand Teton National Park at SunsetBison at Grand Teton National Park at SunsetMoonYellowstone National ParkBison at Yellowstone National ParkBison at Yellowstone National ParkBaby Bison at Yellowstone National ParkYellowstone National ParkYellowstone National ParkYellowstone National ParkGrand Canyon of YellowstoneGrand Canyon of YellowstoneOsprey Nest at Yellowstone National ParkYellowstone National ParkOld FaithfulMorning Glory at Yellowstone National ParkBison in Road at Yellowstone National ParkBison at Yellowstone National ParkYellowstone National ParkYellowstone LakeYellowstone National ParkYellowstone National ParkYellowstone National ParkMoose at Yellowstone National ParkYellowstone National ParkDrive Through UtahDrive Through UtahDrive Through Utah

Lost Antler Cabin in Pray, Montana

Tyler and I just returned from a trip through a few of the national parks to Yellowstone, making the most of this season of rest before he starts his intern year of residency.  Though out of sequence, I couldn’t help but post some frames from our stay in Pray, Montana.

This cozy guest cabin was hand-built with love by a dear woman named Lorna, whose simple and beautiful life captivated me.  About a 40 mile drive north of Yellowstone, Lorna lives surrounded by mountains in what is appropriately named Paradise Valley.  There, she raises sheep and chickens, grows her own food, and delivers the town’s mail among many other things.  She even grows her own hops and hopes to keep bees.

Some of my most treasured memories from our trip were with Lorna’s granddaughter, Nevaeh, as she cared for her month old calf, Midnight, and sitting by the fire with T to watch the sunset.  Neveah’s youthful joy on this farm reminded me that though we have much or though we have little, we are not in want of any good thing.  Maybe the sunsets in Montana are longer, or perhaps we simply recalled the value of uninterrupted company and the importance of savoring each moment.  I was reminded of how sweet it is to lie by green pastures, not fretting the future or the past, but resting deeply in the present.

Oh darling, let’s go down, down to the river to Pray.

Lost Antler Cabin in Pray, MontanaLost Antler Cabin in Pray, MontanaLost Antler Cabin in Pray, MontanaLost Antler Cabin in Pray, MontanaLost Antler Cabin in Pray, MontanaLost Antler Cabin in Pray, MontanaRooster and ChickenChicken CoopChicken CoopChicken CoopChicken CoopFarm Fresh EggsLambsLambsBeehiveBeehiveFirewood and MountainsLost Antler Cabin in Pray, MontanaLost Antler Cabin in Pray, MontanaRabbitBaby CalfLost Antler Cabin in Pray, MontanaLost Antler Cabin in Pray, MontanaHorsesHorsesLost Antler Cabin in Pray, MontanaLost Antler Cabin in Pray, MontanaLost Antler Cabin in Pray, MontanaLost Antler Cabin in Pray, MontanaLost Antler Cabin in Pray, MontanaLost Antler Cabin in Pray, Montana

Thank you, Airbnb for helping us find this slice of Paradise!