Yesterday our skies turned hazy. The Cascade Mountains became wrapped in gray gauze, the snowy peaks barely visible. Smoke from the forest fires in British Columbia drifted south, dulling the sun, blunting our heat wave. The 90ºF heat forecast for tomorrow will just be 85ºF now.
The garden has taken on its summer look. The ao-shiso 青しそ, Perilla frutescens, is ready to pick. This is a must have condiment for civilized people. If you can find it in a country’s grocery shelves, you know you’ve landed in a civilized land.
I went out into the garden this morning to plant more cabbage and beets, and was interrupted by the sight of poppy pods opening. When the unexpected happens, you need to embrace it. I set aside my cabbage seed planting to harvest poppy pods. Let them go, and they’ll fall to the ground before you know it, dashing your hopes and dreams of poppy seed jam and Mach Kuchen.
Few things delight like harvesting poppy pods. What other plant comes with seed chambers with doors that open when they are ready to harvest? To collect the poppy seeds, all you have to do is tip the pods upside down and tap them. The tiny black seeds pour out with ease. My dreams of poppy seed jam and Mach Kuchen live.