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Songs, Stars and Soil

by Deanna Nelson | Jul 27, 2014 | blog | 2 comments


Quite a weekend here in the North Country! Friday was a congenial evening enjoying the beautiful music of Quill & Plow at the Barley Pub, and ended stretched out with a cat and a friend on a blanket watching the Milky Way and fireflies darting through the pasture. Saturday was spent working around the farms and adjourned in front of a bonfire with some good reading and conversation. Sunday brought a bountiful harvest of garlic, which is now curing in the barn. It was quintessential summer—just the sort of weekend that restores the soul.


Paul is not only a syrup maker extraordinaire and asparagus cultivator; he and our friends Shirley and John McFadden also make beautiful music in their “free” time. Listening to Quill & Plow play was a great way to end the official working week. The group’s name derives from John’s career as a newspaper man, and Paul’s life as a farmer—it fits, and their enjoyment spills through their ever-evolving music and into their audiences. Judging from the smiles of the musicians and the crowd, the performance was a hit.


We all have the same stars to gaze at, but we’re partial to viewing our dark and sparkling skies from a blanket on a quiet, grassy hillside. After a cloudy Friday, the skies cleared to permit a beautiful view of the Milky Way. It was so peaceful to take some time and just gaze at the wonder of our amazing universe. Even with a companionable cat periodically blocking the view, it was fun to watch for the faint trajectory of satellites, catch a glimpse of a shooting star, the burning path of a meteor, and the blinking paths of planes. A treat rarely taken full advantage of, although the peace of viewing—even for a minute or two at the end of the day—is always an excellent cure for whatever disruption of the spirit you may be experiencing. The stars were equally as beautiful from the vantage point of a cheery bonfire on Saturday night, and were complemented by a plentiful showing of fireflies. There is something about a bonfire that inspires deep conversation, and this fire did not disappoint. The tidbits of summer chats get filed away to be drawn out down the road, as needed, or they simply dissolve in a wash of nice seasonal memories—either end is fine.


So exciting, as always, to harvest. Sunday was the day to dig out the garlic, sort, and hang it for curing. We are looking forward to Jeri taking charge of the cloves in her recipes, and I will be browsing for opportunities to use the un-cured cloves (who can wait?!?). I know for certain that they will pair well with the ripening tomatoes and herbs from the garden.

Songs, stars and soil are, in short, the perfect combination for the last July weekend of 2014. Bring on August—we’re ready!

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