School is back in session which is sadly leaving limited time for things like blogging. I really like my new students and enjoy being with those who have returned. Middle school has brought me more joy than I had ever imagined. Something about my own junior high experience had me thinking that teaching middle school would be miserable. It's not without it's quirks and irritations, but it is really joyous too.
At the lean-to I'm getting ready to plant the cool season crops. The garden beds have been cleaned and this weekend will be a compost/double dig kind of time. It's this time of year that I can enjoy being out in the garden as the days are getting cooler. I haven't planned exactly what I'll plant but I know we'll have plenty of greens and root vegetables. This summer the winter squash went gangbusters and we should have enough to last us for a time. Tomatoes are still producing too which is such a pleasure. There is nothing like a tomato straight from the vine.
I've been juicing tomatoes in my daily gazpacho juice which has been delicious! My students think I'm a little kooky, especially when the color of the juice is not particularly appealing and they've taken to asking me daily what's in it. I appreciate their inquiry and they seem genuinely interested, if not baffled and intrigued.
I've been cooking a lot from scratch lately--breads, beans, pizza, whole grains-- and it feels good to be back in the cooking saddle. When it's so hot outside the desire to cook gets sapped out of me and even using the outdoor grill hasn't helped much. Last week a neighbor gave me a huge bag of apples from a friend's tree which I processed into apple jelly. I'm looking forward to cracking one of those open soon and processing more fruits as they come into season.
The shade structure is still lacking shade, but it will be finished in due time. The sunflowers are blooming like crazy which makes the goldfinches and sparrows incredibly happy, not to mention the hummingbirds and bees. Things here at the lean-to are fabulous and perhaps once I get into the school routine, I can get back to blogging more often.