Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Solstice

"The summer solstice is the time of greatest light.  
It is a day of enormous power.
The whole planet is turned to the brilliance of the sun.

This great culmination is not static or permanent.
Indeed, solstice as a time of culmination is 
only a barely perceptible point.
The sun appears to stand still. Its diurnal motion seems to nearly cease.
Yesterday, it was still reaching this point;
tomorrow it will begin a new phase of its cycle.

Those who follow Tao celebrate this day to
remind themselves of the cycles of existence.
. . . 
All of life is cycles. 
All of life is balance."

"Solstice" from 365 Tao: Daily Meditations. Deng Ming-Dao. 1992.

For any of you who have grown mint,
you know it will spread, spread, and
spread some more. Recycling  this antique
wheelbarrow is good for the planet
and having mint readily available just
outside of our kitchen is just right.

At this zenith of Summer the Oxheart carrots (an heirloom carrot) are ready for harvest.
Here is one of my favorite way to eat them.

Carrot Salad with Parsley/Lovage and Mint 
(recipe adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.Deborah Madison. 1997.)

3/4 pound carrots

3 T. Nana Mae's Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar 
with herbs from MuRefuge's herb spiral previously steeped for addition complex flavor

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

2 T. Flora 7 Sources 100% plant origin Omega 3-6-9 with EPA & DHA
(of course, you can substitute organic olive oil)

1 T. fresh and chopped parsley or lovage, the latter adds a delish and unusual flavor

2 tsp. fresh and finely chopped mint leaves

Wash carrots and scrub with a brush then grate. Mix the vinegar with salt and pepper
then wisk in the oil. Toss with carrots, lovage and mint. 

This may be served immediately or refrigerated for later.

Western Hazelnut (Corylus cornuta californica) flourishing near the duckpond.
This planting is the third go round on this Certified Wildlife Habitat, MuRefuge,
where the appearance of these nuts is a first time occurrence.
So as we each celebrate this Summer Solstice with balance may we


  1. From Palm Springs: "What A great idea! Love the wheelbarrow! I planted mint in seattle and chased it all over the yard. It would come up as volunteers the next year.. so did the arugula."
    Happy Summer Solstice!

  2. Email received: "Yes, that full moon was beautiful. Happy Summer Solstice !!!"

  3. Email from Tempe, AZ: "HI Cathie-
    I agree with another posting-great idea for the wheelbarrow!
    I will not forget a hot day in Albuq down by the Bosque of the Rio Grande-a research participant who I was interviewing offered me a delicious glass of sun tea and then went to her mint bed outside her lovely pueblo home to snip and place in my tea some mint-delicious!
    It is so hot here!!! Shannon"