Oh, it is a lovely place to be these days – at Rock Bottom Homestead – and all the good things start to outweigh the bad (I’m convinced it’s in the New England water – the memory wiping of the Winter woes and the extra powerful elixir of the Summer loveliness). The butterflies are here (the Yellow Swallowtails arriving with the late Lilacs, Painted Ladies with the ‘Foils – Bird’s Foot Trefoil & Cinquefoil, and Monarch caterpillars on the Milkweed) – the Junebugs are here, the Lightning bugs are here, the Dragonflies have been here for a bit with the Hummingbird Moths – all lovely and amazing bugs to maybe make you forget about the bad bugs for a minute (Black/Deer Fly, mosquitos, ticks – just for a minute).
The Bee Balm is shooting straight up into the air like red fireworks this year, spreading like wildfire – soon the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds will come and make their nest in the Willow tree above them. I hear Nuthatch, Catbirds, and Doves frequently, the Song Sparrow and Phoebe have already laid eggs and their chicks are off – and I just heard the crazy cry of the Pileated Woodpecker out back. The clover is growing at top speed – I’m foraging red, white, and pink for tea along with my bursting chamomile, a few random lovely mullein (the primrose has the year off), and awaiting the calendula. I should get out there and get some young raspberry leaves before they fruit. The drying racks are filling up with good stuffs.
And the shelves are filling, too! With whatever the Farmers Market is brimming with (and may I say, the FM here at Augusta is doing a great job at making it easy and safe to shop and support local living, I hear Portland is really good, too – please take advantage of all the hard work the farmers and purveyors are doing to get real food to you! I have to say, I think this shift has been good for my engineering our foodstuffs – I may never have to go to a big store again). This last week, basil, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, beets, scallions, rhubarb, and cukes are readily available. We made pesto pizza (with homemade ricotta and Maine Mushroom Co mushrooms), strawberry cake, pickles – all kinds of goodies!
Please don’t forget to check out and share (unfortunately for this endeavor we are not on social media, but if you are – feel free to pass us on!) our Community Hearth project – we think it’s a great step towards building new connections to our food systems and our peoples! The Queen of Scapes thanks you so much (as do we all)!