A sunflower growing at Farm in the City welcomes the first day of summer to the community garden.
The solstice, rising so quickly out of Father’s Day this year, allows me to think even more about my Dad, who died more than three decades ago.
I have an early memory of him singing, as a lullaby, “Summertime,” from the George Gershwin opera Porgy and Bess. Daddy’s voice could never have been called operatic – in fact, it was pretty weak, and he was generally a quiet man, so it’s a wonder that he sang at all. But when I listen quietly I can still hear it: “Summertime,” he warbled sincerely and without embarrassment, “and the livin’ is easy.” And so, in the days when troubles could be soothed by a lullaby, it was.
Susan, our yoga teacher, reminded us this morning that this June solstice falls on the same day as the full moon – a rare event. We acknowledged the full moon solstice with a Sun Salute, and I left the class to head downtown to Farm in the City, where I could continue celebrating the first day of summer by digging out weeds and tying up tomatoes.
Ansha, my community garden neighbor, was also there, and her summer celebration began with the discovery of several ready-to-harvest potatoes in the loose soil at one end of her garden plot. She’d been fretting about the yellowing potato plants that hadn’t bloomed, and I suggested she explore the soil under one of them to see what she could find. She unearthed a large, perfect potato right away, and by the time she finished exploring, she had dug out, with her hands, about five pounds of ‘Yukon Golds,’ which she graciously shared.
The tomatoes in my community garden plot are plump and heavy enough to break their branches, but haven’t begun to turn red. It seems a good time to celebrate the garden anyway, so I brought home two green tomatoes that are large and firm. Back home, in the kitchen garden out back, I picked about a pound of ‘Blue Lake’ and ‘Kentucky Wonder’ beans, and a couple of cucumbers.
Dinner tonight will include fried green tomatoes and fresh-from-the-ground Yukon Gold potatoes, green beans in a recipe inspired by a fellow blogger @judyschickens, and fresh cucumber soup, all gifts from the garden to celebrate Summertime on the full moon solstice.
(According to the astronomy site EarthSky.org, based on Universal Time, the last June solstice full moon in the Northern Hemisphere was in 1967, and the next one won’t be until 2062. You can read more about it here.)
This morning’s harvest, tonight’s solstice dinner.