August Rush to Crush...

Updated: Sep 7, 2020

July ended with adventures, growth and creativity. Art and I joined his family for three separate day hikes in the mountains surrounding the beautiful Lepushe Valley. I also to played tour guide to our American Expat neighbors, introducing them to the beautiful northern Albanian Alps. Their comments of admiration for the north was music to my ears.

The heat of July forced our garden activities to early morning or late evening leaving the day available to work on my first novel and Art creating a beautiful wine cellar. Both of course very much works in progress. We have reduced our tour activities to just the vineyard and tastings until the temperatures cool a bit.

We harvested all of our potatoes stacked in hay stored in the wine cellar, onions and garlic woven and hung in the lean to, bush beans shuck and dried, climbing beans consumed, nearly all the squash and watermelons we have enjoyed. We are still growing and picking tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, cantaloupe, carrots and eggplants. Plants that did not survive our very dry hot month includes one pumpkin, quinoa, and our blackberry vines. We planted five sweet potatoes and are prepping the garden for cabbage and leeks.

In the orchard, we harvested the last of the pears.

The thana (cornelian cherries) trees are now in season. Still debating harvesting for Raki.

Figs are shortly behind compared to last year due to our late snow April 1st but we anticipate a healthy harvest this year.

The quince, apple, pomegranate, olive and persimmon trees are developing nicely. Plum trees were a bust this year but we have several young plum trees that are thriving.

And on to our vines. Despite a very dry summer the grapes are doing great. Our small merlot grapes are already ripening and the cylek grapes are slowly turning which is right on time.

In other news, we received an additional donation of German books from a wonderful woman from Austria who lived in the capital Tirana, and monetary donation from family in the states towards our Stock the Library project. We also recently completed a carport to the home thanks to the craftsmanship of my husband Art. Art and I met five years ago August 2, we enjoyed the day with this side project and long swim at the lake.

Our crushing sad news came from the states this week, my youngest niece is a US Marine and is part of a unit that suffered 9 fatalities after a training accident this last week. Our heart and prayers are with their unit and families of these service men and women. Love you Little!

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