Natalie Wise
August 15, 2012

On a partly-sunny day, when the skies are heavy with impending rain, but the sun refuses to be entirely hidden, the greens around Tasha's house are stunning. The leaves offer a hundred shades of green when the sunlight teases us and catches the dew.

Continuing on the path around the herb circle, and down a few stone steps to the vegetable garden, you can see the saturated colors of the late-summer garden. There, you'll also find Annie, Ellie, and Amy carefully collecting Sweet Rocket seeds for next year. The dried, browned tops are where the seeds are, and Ellie knows to clip just below them. The sunflower in the foreground "volunteered" (as Tasha said) in the Sweet Rocket bed.
Ellie was quiet and carefully focused on Mom's instructions of proper handling of the garden shears.
The seeds are collected from Tasha's garden and the Tudor property and dried in the hay loft of Tasha's barn. The air movement and temperature in the hay loft are ideal for drying seeds--and I like to think that maybe the air in Tasha's barn lends an extra something particularly uncommon and special.
 Seth made the screens to hold the drying seed pods. As they dry, the seeds fall and drop through, ready to be gathered.
Ellie loves to hear the noise the seeds make, and is seen here shaking out some foxglove seeds while Amy checks their progress.  
From the hay loft, you can spy a box of cupcakes waiting on the grain barrel for tea time (along with the water jug and a few leftover paper cups from the garden tours). At the thought of cupcakes, Ellie becomes overjoyed, and seed collecting is paused for a tea break. We all climb down the hay loft built-in ladder steps, which Ellie loves to practice climbing with Mom's help.