Sunday, October 23, 2011

Farmstead Foraying: more Preppy Autumn Pleasantries

Autumn afternoons are perfect times for leisurely country-roading and...
...local farmstead-foraying for a bounty of delightful delicacies including...
...old fashioned soda to sip when back onto those country roads heading to... uncle's riverside farm for further outdoors-enjoying with my favorite guy!

The cool crisp days during Autumn Season are always so perfect to get oneself out into especially when they're paired with stunning blue skies overhead!

It's an incredibly rare day when things align to where James and I actually have a "free day-off" together...whenever this happens, we take full advantage of it. Recently one of these beautiful fall days this month found us driving along the country-roads of coastal South Carolina's marsh edges ending up within the still-cute areas of Bluffton. Old Bluffton as our local friends call it.

Bales of hay, pumpkins, sunflowers and tractors were decorating galore' the landscape down one of the rural roads we were driving along. James and I stopped by the most-festive of these small local farmsteads and happily stocked up on their offerings of fresh produce, gourmet canned goods and some old fashioned bottles of orange-flavored Nehi soda. I snapped a couple of pictures while James finished putting a bag of seed corn into the back of his truck he had also purchased and it just felt like... the-perfect-autumn-day.

I have been missing our usual kitchen gardening out on the island with now being mainly here in downtown Savannah. Purchasing herbs, peppers, sunflowers and such from the great markets nested within the historic district still isn't anything like actually growing these myself in our raised beds set out near the island's waterline marshes off our yard. Juggling two garden areas just wasn't possible this year while hopping back into a busy career and dashing between two home locations trying to transition, continue caregiving etc. So I let the island's kitchen garden take a rest after its early-spring production. Awaiting this next spring is an expansion of the in-town courtyard garden. The gradual transformation of our carriage houses' plain courtyard garden area into more of a garden ensues potted-gardening structuring which will eventually include some herbs and possibly heirloom tomatoes, peppers and such.

Looking forward towards our retirement years, James and I are contemplating moving full time onto his family farm and dabbling in some gentleman-farming. Right now out there in the almost middle-of-nowhere-midstate-South-Carolina it's acres n' acres of soybeans, cotton and trees. We envision re-building the farmhouse again in the middle of a cluster of stately pecan trees and having a large area for organic gardening whose excess we could can into gourmet-goodies, cut into bountiful bouquets and even bake for selling at a local roadside stand or the local farmer's market. The proceeds would go to charity and the process of all of this would keep us happily busy and out of trouble in our 70's and maybe even beyond as we age out of our life span.

We're aiming to still be productive in our old age if our ole' bodies allow this to be so...less shuffle boarding on cruise ships and more shucking corn for whipping up into upscale salsas for sale ;) You know me, it'll won't be painted wooden country roosters n' raffia stylin' but rather toile' fabric lining willow baskets with french wired ribbon styling and elegant labels and so forth n' so on...

But until then, farming for me will remain decidedly within kitchen garden parameters unless...

...we're being more city-mouse at the moment like now and so it's "farming via country roads".

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Prairie-Preppy...the Pleasantries of Autumn Sunflowers

Huge sunflowers are so-festive this time of year and...
...there's something odd-but-enchanting about their peculiar scent.
Everyone's familiar with this iconic Vincent van Gogh painting however... my humble opinion, this study he did of sunflowers is much more incredible.
Inspired by images of sunflowers, I began to dabble away...
...and watercolored my own little simple-study of sunflowers, what fun!
Watercolor dabbling and spicy tea sipping provides a pleasant autumn evening.

It's kinda' fun during the autumn months to go a bit more "rustic", a tad "rural" with a dash of "prairie romantic" thrown in for good measure: small county fair attending, old-barn building antiquing, farmers' market foraying, sipping spiced cider from a pottery mug and of course...indulging in lots of bright, big ole' sunflowers!

I was at the grocers the other evening and just couldn't pass these sunflowers by...

Have enjoyed having them in the carriage house here and one rainy evening, I decided to do a watercolor study of them- happily painting away to the quiet hush of gentle rain coming down outside the windows. I lit a scented candle, tucked a comfortable little pillow between the small of my back and an upright chair at the table in the living room and just dabbled to my delight.

Lately it's been raining a lot in Savannah which I've been really, really loving. Any other setting, yes, it may indeed get quite tedious to have days and days of rain but here where the Spanish moss drips rain droplets down onto the curvy eaves of Victorian homes and then puddles them onto the sloping expanses of brick steps while mixing this all in with the scented greens, florals and dirt aromas of a tiny courtyard garden...well, now that's actually been downright delightful!

I also valued the rains we experienced out on the island where one could watch storms approach from across the marsh towards the house and then pass along on out into the ocean. Out there I felt invigorated with being literally and proverbially out in the middle of the rain's moving landscape whereas here I feel cozily cloistered within our tucked-back pied a terre' setting.

It's been an incredibly-busy autumn with both James and my careers and so the quiet rainy evenings we can spend at home have been wonderfully restorative.

My wellies are dripping on the floor, the umbrella's leaning against the door, some sunflowers are in a pitcher by the art easel while in the kitchen cinnamon spice tea is seeping as above our roof the skies continue weeping and so... all is sooo very-right in my Savannah Autumnal World.......'s hoping that all of my blog readers are experiencing a wonderful autumn as well :)