Friday, July 31, 2009

Sweet Corn and Tender Cukes

The humidity arrived this week. The clouds are stacking up every afternoon. Sometimes the rains come in the night and the heat breaks for a few hours. The sky cleared during the night, and cool air swept in through the open windows. We started off with a clear morning, then the clouds and rain came early, before noon. Aria, our 12-year old shepherd, must have heard some distant thunder as she wanted comfort then escaped to the second floor. Summer is here, the signs are finally emerging.

Yesterday at the Exeter Farmer's Market we bought our first sweet corn of the year. The ears and kernels were small and sweet. Sweet corn is not always sweet, so the first nibble on the cob is always filled with much anticipation. This was the first week that the market seemed to be flush with vegetables and more in balance with the other goods--maple syrup, cut flowers, potted perennials and herbs, brooms, organic tea, frozen meats and eggs, prepared foods, goat's milk, and more.

We filled our homemade tote bags with marble-sized freshly dug red potatoes from Meadow's Mirth, long, thick carrots, big beets, a softball-sized red cabbage and four ears of corn, a dozen fresh eggs, three green bell peppers, and six old fashioned cider donuts. Our own garden is offering daily pickings of green beans, sugar snap peas, tender cucumbers, Swiss chard, kale, summer squash, basil, and lettuce. This on top of the fresh veggies that I bring home on Sunday from New Roots Farm after helping them with whatever needs doing--weeding, seeding, transplanting, harvesting, washing, and trimming. It was good to see them selling plump red tomatoes at the market since they've been hit with late blight and worried about losing their crop.

Bella and I went for a long walk in the rain. This is the first rain this summer that I've really enjoyed. It's a warm rain, steady but gentle. We walked through College Woods, the smell of wet hemlock and white pine needles reminded of summers spent camping on Moosehead Lake in Maine. We arrived home just before the heavy rain started. Flash flood warnings for tonight.

This short summer has finally arrived. I can taste the sweet corn and tender cukes and hear the distant thunder.

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