colorwithjane

thoughts about life, art and color


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It’s September?

Where did this summer go? Tomorrow is September 1 – really? The kids are back in school, days are shorter, and plants are dying back.  Simultaneously, some are so full they resemble children in the back seat of a car trying to claim their own space, “he’s touching me”. I fondly remember those days. So many of us say to our children and grandchildren as they are approaching life milestones such as first grade, graduation, college, marriage – “I can remember holding you when you were just a baby” –  so bittersweet. Time does seem to go by quickly, and already I’m realizing I’ll be missing the garden in the not too distant future.  I remember when you were just a mere seedling. He-he!

Have a good week.

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It’s Purple Week

Let’s talk about purple today…or is it violet….or is it lilac…or is it lavender…or maybe orchid? Whatever you call it; it certainly is beautiful and eye catching in the garden. Everyone has a different word to describe this color that’s simultaneously warm and cool. It’s the most intuitive of all colors. It can be rich and royal like the purple velvet robes worn by royalty so many years ago or it can be soft and delicate like a young girl’s accessories. It can be mysterious or associated with spirituality or it can even suggest romance or creativity or even moodiness.  Lighter shades can be precious or refined. Sounds like a rainbow all of its own. Perhaps that’s because of the conflicting red and blue base – a little color theory lesson in there. What a fickle color! But fun.

Have a good week.

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Yawn, it’s the lazy days of summer

This is the time of summer in the garden when not much is happening. Nothing new is popping up. I’m getting a tomato here, a tomato there, nothing major, not much at all. We haven’t had any rain, and my flowers as well as myself have been in a holding pattern, ho-hum. There’s always next week. I think I’ll talk about the characteristics of purple…or should I say violet? Enjoy your week.

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FREE PROGRAM – WHO KNEW?

If you go to South Park on a Tuesday afternoon you’ll find volunteers working in a demonstration garden who can answer your questions about flowers that do well in our area – even with deer; who knew. These folks are members of the Penn State Master Gardeners of Allegheny County and they are testing these beautiful pollinating gardens.

The Penn State Master Gardeners of Allegheny County will host a special annual event at South Park and North Park on Saturday, August 15, from 9:00am to 1:00pm educating county residents about gardening in our area. They will have tasting stations, tons of information and children’s activities. In addition to this special event and the knowledgeable volunteers, you’ll want to check out their website, Allegheny County Penn State Extension – TONS OF INFORMATION.

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Family, Hard Work, & Memories…and did I mention hard work?

I have been going to the farmers’ market since I was a small child, as long as I can remember. I get so excited every time pulling into the parking lot. I love the smells, seeing the new purveyors, reassured when I see the old standbys, waiting for the horn to blow, and most of all, knowing we’ll be eating what is now considered quite chic – farm to table. Where have you all been?

I grew up in the city and I do mean, right smack dab in the center of the city. No rolling hills, no green grass, no flowers, none of that good stuff growing around us. We were surrounded by the landscape of Pittsburgh, better known as Belgian block. But, I was raised by my grandmother who came here from “the old country” so she only knew fresh or “putting up” for winter. For you newbies, that means canning. I learned to respect food at a very early age. Enter the hard work from my side. It’s really hot and tiring standing over a steaming pot after picking through, peeling, cutting, and prepping produce all day, actually a lot of hot summer days.

But this post is to show you a little from the production side of this process; again, stressing family, hard work, and I’m guessing, a lot of memories. I contacted Janoski’s Farm because I LOVE the aesthetics of how they display their produce, bushels, and baskets of bounty. Everything is lined up perfectly straight, ever so neat, piled so high you wonder how it stays balanced. They agreed to permit me to come into their space to photograph and I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Janoski, the matriarch of this hard working, proud family. She is such a pleasant and lovely woman and was kind enough to tell me about her husband, who recently passed, and her children and grandchildren who have been taught how to continue working their farm for posterity and for you and me. Besides the pride showing in the way everything is displayed, the way they work together while unloading is a beautiful choreographed dance. The family and workers move in unison, everyone knowing their part; step left, step right, bend, turn now, repeat. It was beautiful. I’m guessing everyone is tired at night’s end so, again, family, memories, and of course, hard work.

I prepped what I purchased that night and I’m going back to Janoski’s next week to get my tomatoes for canning. No matter how tired and hot I get, those memories of working side by side with my grandmother keep me smiling while I’m making new memories with my family. Maybe that’s why I love the farmers’ market so much. It’s like going home. Treat yourself, go to the market.

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