We were predicted to have a little snow the other evening, so I decided to pull up the remainder of the garden goodies. I got a fair amount of Thai Hot peppers, along with some green tomatos, oregano, and young garlic and onions.
I spent half my time getting the basil leaves off the stems, while not getting the dried flower bits into the bowl at the same time. I don't know if the dried flower parts are useful or not, but they smell stronger than the leaves. Research required, as it is with the oregano flowers.
I decided to de-leaf the pepper plants, instead of making a pile of individual peppers (I have a small one going already). Then, I got even more creative (hah!), and now have them hanging from the Pepto-Bismol pink shelves to dry!
All of that reminded me of farm and family. My parents were first generation "off the farm" - dad from Billing MT, mother and step-mom from Illinois. I have spent a fair amount of time 'on the farm' over the years. One of my earliest memories is sitting on Uncle Paul's lap, steering (and I use the term loosely) the tractor down some king of chute from the stockyard to the barn.
I remember feeding chickens at Uncle Jordan's, and gathering eggs. That's where I learned to 'candle' eggs too. When I wasn't being a tourist, I'd go out and help the boys set the irrigation water for the sugar beets.
I discovered that cleaning produce is a form of medditation. My mind was free to wander about. I thought Deep Thoughts on relationships, family, politics, even (alleged) global warming.
I plan on doubling the amount of raised beds for next year, and making them all at least 12" deep. Deeper - with Miracle-Grow soil -seems to yield significantly better results. And a BBQ deck, and fencing so I can let Koda and Suzu out to meander in the back without worrying about them wandering off into traffic.