September 5, 2011

Labor Day And A Salute To My Grandfather

image from International Harvester Tractors

credit, International Harvester Tractors

Labor Day was always a welcomed holiday, even as a student when I didn’t really have a job to speak of.  It marked the unofficial end to summer, and the last of the family vacations for the year.  I have since come to know Labor Day was first celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City as a celebration and tribute to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the American worker.

Though these are tough economic times, the spirit of the American worker should continue to be celebrated, and in particular, those farm workers who labor to bring us fruits, vegetables, grains, and other crops that help compose the fabric of our lives.  Farm hands and other agricultural workers are seasonal workers, which means in the off-season, they need to figure out how to make ends meet. My grandfather was one of those workers who worked from before the sun rose, until long after it set.  He worked the cotton fields of the Mississippi delta, and would come home covered in dust and thoroughly exhausted, only to do the same thing all over again the next day.

Today, my grandfather is retired from farming, but I’ll take this opportunity anyway to salute him and all those farmers and field hands whose hard work seem to make our lives just that much better.  Happy Labor Day to you.

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August 29, 2011

Life Is Like A Bowl Of Peppers

Life Is Like A Bowl of Peppers, copyright The Allium Garden

Life Is Like A Bowl of Peppers

Lucky me, the pepper plants a friend gave me (thanks Mark!) early in the season have been producing like gangbusters!  I’m thrilled at my yield this summer and I didn’t even try hard.  I’m glad the heat wave found some useful end.

So now, what shall I do with all of these peppers?

I could:

1. Dry them for cooking (I left huge handfuls in the window of the kitchen, and just like magic…)

2. Freeze them (I’m told this is tricky, the defrosting could go horribly wrong)

3. Refrigerate them (I know this is a short term solution since my produce inevitably goes bad because I don’t usually cook the food, I just grow the food)

4. Display them (Dried peppers are easier than flowers)

I choose to display them.  Pretty things trump all, as always.

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August 27, 2011

Chamomile {For Strength And Balance}

Chamomile for Strength, copyright the Allium Garden

Chamomile for Strength

In the midst of the storm, a bit of chamomile for strength and balance. This chamomile was photographed growing wild out in Grand County, Colorado.  The flower tops of this herb have been used for thousands of years to combat anxiety and bestow a sense of calm and balance.  That was certainly the gift I was given upon gazing onto this peaceful meadow.

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