Snaggletooth Farm has been very busy these last few weeks. The garlic has sized up nicely, and Henry has supervised his motley crew through a successful harvest. The weather has been hot and sticky, with no discernible breeze to help his overheated crew. Nonetheless, the garlic is now in the drying shed, and Henry is content. Mom however, is not too happy with the smell of two thousand pounds of green garlic drying. The shed is attached to the house, and the off-gassing of all of this garlic is pungent to say the least. "Thank goodness Dad has plans to build a drying barn in the upper field for this odious task. All of us love garlic, but I must agree this smell is a little much." Henry thought. The only family member who appeared to take no notice of the pungent sulfurous aroma was Stella, who ambles by, nose down, tail up, busy at work looking for the next delectable mouthful of tic tacs. Henry watched her go by with a thoughtful look in his eye, and a crooked grin on his scruffy face. He unconsciously licked his lips. "Maybe I should go supervise her" Henry thought, and his tail gave a half-hearted thump. Just as he was getting ready to move, and the saliva was already starting to drip from his bearded jowls, he heard the tractor start up and go by. Mom was driving, with Dad walking slowly behind. The tractor's nose was pointed toward the freshly harvested garlic field. Mom had just finished tilling it earlier, and now they were both going to pick up any sizable rocks before attending to Henry's next task. You see, Henry was already thinking ahead to four years from now when they will again use this field for garlic production. He is going to have them plant mustard greens in this spot for the fall as a green manure and cover crop. "The crew needs to start adding organic nutrients back into the soil immediately, and this will also shade out any weeds that will germinate. You can never start building organic matter too early." Henry said to himself. He felt a little badly, as they had just gotten in the garlic crop for drying the day before. But he needed to have them get this done, because as soon as this was finished, it was time to have them start preserving their family garden's larder for the upcoming winter. Already the swiss chard, spinach, beets, tomatoes, and soon green beens were ready for canning. "They will need to get this done while the garlic finishes drying, so they will have it complete before the task of cleaning, grading, and shipping out of this year's garlic crop commences" Henry said. "Wow, I have given them a lot of work to do in a short amount of time; summer is the season of not enough hours in the day to be sure. At least they have me to supervise them, and keep them on task," he said as he flashed his best snaggletooth grin. "Well, it looks like they know what they need to do next. I think I had better go after Sis and help her in her never ending quest of tic tacs." So with a wistful look back at Mom and Dad, Henry turned in the direction Stella had gone. He had a wide smile on his face as he first started to trot, then he accelerated into a full gallop. His gait was classic Henry; loping, goofy, and quick. The look on his face was one of pure bliss, and as his breath quickened, his tongue lolled out of the side of his mouth. Henry soon caught up to his sister, and he came to his patented lumbering halt; grace was something not in his repertoire. Without a word, or even a sidelong glance at Stella, his nose dropped and his sniffer engaged. The snuffling from these two as they scoured the ground for tic tacs resembled pigs rooting for truffles. All we can say here at Snaggletooth Farm is look out tic tacs......
We hope you are enjoying this glorious summer season, and though it always seems that there are not enough hours in the day, there is always enough for your spirit to be renewed as you embrace all nature has to offer. Drink from her well deeply, and may your thirst never be quenched!
Henry and Stella were excited. It was a perfect summer day in Coastal Maine. The sky overhead is that deep, clear robin's egg blue we all dream about. The wispy, white clouds plying this blue sea only added to the serenity Birds were going about their daily business, and their song, while in the distance was tranquil and reassuring. The humidity, which had been present for the last few days was gone. Mother Nature had cleansed this part of the world last night, and the air was fresh and pure. All was well with the world and the farm. These days were Dad's favorite to be out in the fields, and as Henry glanced that way, he could see Dad, back bent, and at work. As always, Dad was worrying about this year's crop. "What else is new," Henry thought. "Dad always worries until the crop is out of the ground, cured and ready for storage. Yes, weed pressure was much greater than Dad was used to. Why wouldn't it be? It was the first year on new virgin soil. The seed bank is high, and thus the war will be harder to fight. In the end there may be less seed quality garlic, but there will be plenty of table garlic. Dad needs to relax and embrace nature's rhythm. We still have a couple of weeks for the garlic to size up. We may have a bumper crop yet." These thoughts ran through Henry's head as he watched Dad amidst the sea of garlic, that was starting to dry down, leaves showing that they were dying, giving their sustenance to the developing bulbs below ground. Henry's thoughts suddenly shifted to matters at hand. He and Stella were sitting next to Mom's convertible awaiting the days adventure. "Remember our garlic braids Stella?" Henry asked. "Yes, what about them?" She replied, absentmindedly scratching her ear. "Well, we need flowers to weave into our garlic braids and Mom is taking us to our friend's farm." Henry said. "What farm is that again?" Stella asked. "You know, Glendarragh Farm Lavender. It is Lorie and Patrick's farm in Appleton. When we go for rides to Camden this time of year, we can smell the aroma of their lavender miles before we arrive." Henry replied. "Oh yes, this is the place where the people harvest lavender, while we walk their nature trail around their property. I especially like to listen to the Bobolinks, and watch them fly. Why do you think they have their tuxedos on backwards?" Stella asked him. "Sis if you want to know why those birds look like they do you will have to pay more attention when Mom and Dad are talking. I've always said you spend too much time licking yourself when you should be listening!" "Well, a girl needs to freshen up Henry. You just don't understand." "Anyhow, Henry retorted, ignoring her last statement about her questionable grooming habits, as you an I are the supervisors, we are free to explore, while the others harvest." "Great!" Stella said with an enthusiastic thump of her tail. She was all about exploration, not so much about working. At this moment Mom comes out the house, and after getting Dad's attention, blows him a kiss, and opens the door of the car, and Henry and Stella pile in. They assume their positions in the backseat, awaiting their beautiful chauffeur. Mom starts the car, and as they drive off, Henry and Stella's sniffers start to work overtime. There is so much to smell in the pure, clean, summer Monroe air. Stella looks at Henry, who is sporting his usual crooked Snaggletooth grin, and his long wavy hair blowing in the wind coursing through their convertible, and is struck by the thought that she loves her big brother. He is a gentle, goofy dog who is always looking out for her. "I can't wait to explore Glendarragh farm today. I know I told Henry I couldn't wait to see the Bobolinks, but really what I hope they have is some yummy tic tacs!" Stella unconsciously licked her lips, and nuzzled her brother. All is well in the world.
Yes Henry and Stella, all is well. We hope you all enjoyed our story, and are enjoying Summer. There is so much to do; even so, make sure you take time to enjoy all the beauty that surrounds you. And to our friends at Glendarragh farm, thank you. It will be an honor incorporating your beautiful, fragrant lavender into our braids.