My husband and I recently moved back to the South after living in Maine for eight years. There are a lot of things I miss about Maine; the snow, the cooler summers, Green Mountain coffee, the fresh smell of the air, the lower population, wild blueberries, trees, trees, and yet more trees. Not many things I don’t miss but I do have a few; black flies, mud season, and the short summer gardening season.>>
Since we moved to North Carolina, I’ve been rediscovering the joys of living where the gardening season is at least 5 months long and you can grow just about anything. Up in Maine, I would’ve just put out my garden a couple of weeks ago—the traditional time to plant up there is Memorial Day weekend—and I’d just now be seeing the plants really starting to grow.>>
But down here in the south, I’ve already harvested lettuce, broccoli, and onions. Plus, I picked the first green beans the other day and I’ll be picking more this afternoon. I have cucumbers, zucchini squash, peppers, and tomatoes that should be ripe within the next month. Plus, I have carrots and pumpkins up and growing though it’ll be a while before they’re ripe. It’s almost like we have a bonus growing season down here because with the broccoli, lettuce, and onions, I can plant those again and have more before the summer is over. >>
I planted a new rose garden this year and they’re thriving in the summer warmth. I have fresh roses in the house every day and with the herbs from my garden, fresh herbs to cook with. I got hooked on herbs up in Maine—most of them are very hardy plants and they grow well up there, but down here some of them need a little extra care because of the heat. The ones I put out; thyme, oregano, rosemary, chives, lavender, dill, basil and lemon balm; are all doing well. I should have a well-stocked spice rack before the summer is over, not to mention my favorite lemon balm tea to keep me warm when the weather turns cooler and lavender to freshen up my potpourri or make sachets with. >>
Added to that we have local produce that is very cheap in season. Locally grown strawberries and apples, peaches from South Carolina; I have a feeling my hot water canner is going to get a workout this year. Last year, we’d just bought our house and so I didn’t have much of a garden but I was able to get a basket of peaches that had just been picked that morning. I made lots of fruit salads and cobblers, peach jam, peach butter, and a new recipe I found on the Internet, peach cobbler preserves—yum!> >
So yes, I miss Maine, but there are lots of things I love about living in the South again.>>