{Now Welcom Somer}

Happy solstice! I hope you enjoyed all the sunlight you could on the longest day of the year this past Saturday. I spent the day working in various gardens, and spent the rainy evening thinning out the long row of sunflowers. Yesterday I transplanted them, and they seem to be surviving - I also seeded new sunflowers in with them, just in case they don't do well. I still have a bucket full of plants, though... I only got about 2/3 of the total thinned back into the ground.

I've just spent the past two hours weeding the thornless blackberry patch, and it's looking a lot better - there are still young trees growing in there, but one side is drastically improved, anyway. It'll take another go or two before it's really shaping up.

Yesterday I joined Abe in the herb garden where we harvested a Lot of oregano for drying. We smelled like pizza (yum!) until we moved on to harvesting the spearmint (then we just smelled like toothpaste). I knew that you could pinch the flowers off most herbs to help them grow longer, but I learned from Marielle (who joined us later) that you could cut back Half the plant (preferably at a joint, so the leaves could branch out and keep growing) and that this would help it grow more thickly. It's nice to have people around who know the nitty gritty details of getting the most out of an herb garden. Soon I'll be learning to make salves and essences!! (Lemon basil, here I come) I wonder if the small cuttings I gave to Heather last fall were able to take root...

While we harvested oregano, a fox wandered nearby underneath the mulberry tree and feasted on fallen berries. It hung around for a good ten minutes before scooting into the trees nearby... it was beautiful, too, with a long, thick tail that had a dark stripe down it, rough grayish-brown fur and a lighter gray face.

Two nights ago I wrote up a draft of the proposal I'd like to show the members of Acorn saying that I'd like to be considered for provisional membership and the things I want to do when I live here. I had a few people read the second draft yesterday and received good feedback from Ben, Paul, Marielle, and Ira.

Oh, and I've got poison ivy again... as soon as the one batch goes away I just get it again. I've got large patches of it still healing, looking like scar tissue, and this new batch is all over my hands and forearms, and I think out next to my eyes, too. I've been putting Abby's jewelweed ice cubes on it whenever I can remember.

Mom harvested the first of our snap peas from the garden about a week ago, and has been grabbing a few each day. So exciting! And now that I know a bit more about harvesting herbs I'm Really gonna go at the mint this week when I go into Richmond Tuesday night.

I guess that better be all the updates for now. One day soon I'm going to figure out an easier way to gather all this information... maybe I'll make hennalion.com a personal site, and have a garden/community blog, and some calendar-type way to record when I'm planting, harvesting, and foraging different things. Hm.

Thanks for reading