The oncoming heat of summer here in wine country has got us thinking about summer eats and entertaining. Here is a roundup of some of our favorite recipes, regardless of the time of year.
This year, we’ve decided to only plant what we know we will eat.
A common quandary in the Russian River Valley this time of year is what to do with all the persimmons? A full-grown tree can produce a lot of fruit, and all of it is ripe at the exact same time. The fruit is too precious to let it spoil -- I see small, little guys going for $2 at the local grocery store -- so here are some ideas for how you can use all that lovely fruit so it doesn't go to waste:
The task of controlling the weeds on the non-vineyard property has come to me. I attack about 1.5 acres with a weed eater, whacking away weeds along the fence lines, trees (not too close!), around the house and barns. Then there’s hands-and-knees work, pulling weeds around the roses, blueberries and newly planted fruit trees.
But now, after months without rain and the dust starting to build up, we here in the Russian River Valley were ready for a change. Finally, on Monday, we were blessed with the first rain of the season. It held off long enough for 80 percent of Sonoma County’s crops to be harvested.
I was thrilled to spend a little time with some wonderful ladies from the Sonoma County Master Gardeners at the Sonoma County Fair, which runs through August 12.
After many days of fun in the sun in Sonoma County, we finally have taken a couple of days to do the things that are necessary at the ranch. It was a hard lesson to realize that we can’t play all the time, but that reality seems to be enjoyed by our grandchildren
I’ve never been a gardener. I’d never even really wanted to be a gardener. Now I’m faced with almost seven acres of property. Most of it is covered with vineyard, but more than two non-vineyard acres surround our lovely little farmhouse and are calling to be more than a gopher-and-mole nature preserve. I long to have interesting beds overflowing with vegetables and flowers with lovely paths winding among them.
Those coveralls, bandanas, straw hats and work boots, once emblematic of our grooviness, are now the uniform of our lives.
Well, first of all, it's absolutely beautiful here.