Chelsea Green Publishing

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Hiatus, Before Autumn

The last time I wrote here it was mid-summer. It is now mid-autumn. Good intentions once again gone astray. Wishing for the magician’s trick for expanding time. Our silence here may seem like we’ve been on a hiatus or sabbatical. Would that it were so. Hands dirty, backs sore, hungry, tired, and delighted. The most hard-working summer and fall we’ve ever had—and happily we’ve fallen into bed every night. We have been reduced to single words or short phrases–an apple falls, red clover in the vineyard, sweet buckwheat, a thousand pounds of grapes, hornets, a plate of tomatoes, a clutch of roses, dirty glasses, the scent of woodsmoke. The thought of writing a sentence is daunting. That’s another reason one or both of us have not been writing. The belief that we need to construct a complete thought has hovered and kept us away. I’ve heard it said that the great winegrowers are poets. I imagine this notion fits for everything. An efficiency and rigor of style. And while I have no pretentions to being a great winegrower, only a hardworking one who lets the grapes tell their story into wine, I am intrigued by the poet bit. So words and phrases it is even if just to keep a record of this extraordinary season. A white butterfly lost, a dog barks incessantly, the crickets hum, blue dusk in the sky, pink-lighted clouds to the west, a house light winks across the valley, the moon rises, the moon sets, the coyotes offer frenzied song, the cats pace the house, a single light in my office, vases full of pink cosmos flaunt, a storm brews, grape-stained hands, grape-stained feet, the smell of yeast and violets, grapefruit rind, the milky tea has turned cold, one grandmother’s tea cup, another grandmother’s white linens, a wall of French green beans, a sea of sweet little carrots, sausages roasted with grapes from the pergola, the raccoon is gone, the flock of turkeys circles the vineyard, the walnut trees have lost their leaves, a hot bath, roast duck, a bowl of soup. –Deirdre Read the original post at fuoricitta (out of the city). Deirdre Heekin is the author of Libation, A Bitter Alchemy and In Late Winter We Ate Pears.


Syllabub.  The dictionary says, “See sillabub”.  A classic English dessert of a certain era that graces the country dance tables in the novels of Jane Austen. Earlier this summer, I re-read the last Jane Austen novel partially written by Ms. Austen and finished by a contemporary author.  Sanditon is a play on all the same […] Read More..

After The Party

We sit down at the table. There are six of us: our friends Mark and Gina who helped the evening stay glued together, Eliza who has been the intern at the restaurant and farm for the last nine months, and her mother Trish, up for a visit. The old-wood table that Caleb built a few […] Read More..


I’ve waited too long to write. My memory seems to be not quite as it used to be. In the glory days of youth, I could remember faces, place names, historical dates, addresses (but somehow, never phone numbers), what I ate, drank, when, where, and why. I’m trying to remember that sunny day last week. […] Read More..

Gorgeous Disgorgement

We have only a case of bottles left of our first cider from two seasons ago.  They have been patiently waiting, or rather they have been doing what they need to do, and I have been not-so-patiently waiting for the time when we can disgorge them.   The number of bottles has dwindled over the last […] Read More..

The End is the Beginning

It’s the end of our vacation.  Last day before the realities of running the restaurant during the holiday and winter season.  Tomorrow and the next several days will be full of reservations, returning phone calls, waxing the dining room floor, painting the bathroom, making a soup, preparing ravioli, stocking wine. But today is Sunday, my […] Read More..