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Harvest Monday and Memorial Day

May 27, 2013

My Grandmother Bell called it ‘Decoration Day,’ the day to bring flowers to the graves of family departed. The task was done the day before because Grandpa Bell helped in the American Legion ceremony on Memorial Day. 

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This was long before the holiday was permanently installed on Monday and my sister and I left school early to help with the task. The station wagon was filled with flowers gathered from Grandma’s garden since there were a dozen or more graves to decorate. Her roses were that first flush of spring bloom. The car smelled heavenly.

After the work was done we had a picnic dinner in a nearby park. There was time to play while my grandmother set out her fried chicken, potato salad and Aunt Esther’s lemon cake.

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And so to remember Memorial Day and my grandparents, I’ll start my post with the bouquet of 'Hot Cocoa’ roses I gathered yesterday.

As I transition from the winter to the summer garden, the harvests are fewer. It is the season of sowing and transplanting.

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The potted celery obliged with several flower stalks. Chopped finely they flavored my carrots, other vegetables and cannellini beans for an easy meal.

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Just as I prepare to plant butternut squash, I baked the last large one recently. They held well in the garage from the harvest last OctoberNo garnish needed here–let the glory go to the vegetable. Cayenne pepper, nutmeg and a dash of olive oil flavored the butternut squash. (Bi-coastal moment: I learned to love butternut squash in New England).

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The last of the sweet oranges meet up with the spring blueberries.

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It’s near the end for the chard. Time to make room for summer crops. Maybe I’ll replant the 'Bright Lights’ Swiss chard. Did I enjoy last night’s steamed chard with a splash of balsamic vinegar even more? I’m musing about one more round of green smoothies.

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Farewell to my sweet calendulas which have brightened many winter salads.  But the green beans, corn and zucchini sprouted this week so who can be sad?

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne’s Dandelions. It’s a time to share what you’re harvesting in your garden or how you’re storing or using it.

Photo credit Decoration Day postcard: Flickr

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