October visit to Eva’s, part two

After the long walk on the beach, Chico, in his doggy way, was ready for a nap.

Very ready.

He’s sleeping on a coffee bean sack. Eva uses these sacks for everything from making them into doormats to mulching the paths and edges of her gardens with them to keep the weeds down. Note to those considering doing this: the sacks will biodegrade, but the stitching won’t, so don’t use where you want to roto-till. I heard it from the pros – Eva’s workers.

The day never really cleared up, and I chose to throw myself into some of the indoor work.

All around the stove are flats holding lemon verbena that was drying to be used as a tea. In the pot on the stove are the stems left after I had stripped the already dried lemon verbena. Eva is going to play around with them and see if any more of the flavor can be harvested from the plant.

Autumn Olive, also called Autumn Berry, is an invasive ornamental with a delicious and largely unused (because it is full of small seeds) fruit. Clever Eva has figured out many uses for the pulp and juice of the fruits: sauces, sorbets, drinks…lots of things*. To make any of them, one must start by getting the small berries off the branches.

There were several large storage bins of branches waiting to be stripped of their fruit.

So I did that.

And, in his own way, Chico helped.

Somewhere in the day Eva and I moved about 100 pots of lemon verbena into her neighbor’s basement where the clipped back plants will hibernate until spring.
By the time we finished all that, ate dinner, and I picked and packed some greens to take home with me, it was bedtime. Another great, if short, visit to one my favorite places.

*Chef Didi Emmons spent a year cooking in Eva’s kitchen, using ingredients from the garden and wild crafted by Eva. It’s a good read, there are neat ideas for growing and using all sorts of foods that are often ignored, it’s called Wild Flavors and you can read more about it at Didi’s website.

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One Response to October visit to Eva’s, part two

  1. nancy sheridan says:

    Eva strikes me as one brilliant person. Do local high schoolers/grads intern with her? There’s a lot to be learned there. I can see why it’s one of your favorites places, and Chico looks pretty relaxed too.

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