Strawberry Popcorn

It’s hard to believe it is that time of year already! Green beans are pumping out of the garden so fast I can barely pick them before they are too big. The soy bean plants are abundant and everybody is beginning to sprawl into the pathways. I think it’s true that gardeners and farmers are those with eternal hope and excitement for each day and year. For you never know how it’s going to go, and each year you find new things to grow and inspire. This year my favorites are the new corn varieties, Strawberry popcorn and Bronze Orange Corn, as well as the giant soy bean plants that are producing abundantly and will be so delicious freshly steamed with salt (last year we lost both the bean and pepper crops to a fungus from all the rain). That was a first and I am so glad not the ‘new norm’. I’m growing red onions for the first time along with Dakota Tears yellow, keeper onions and leeks.

Blue Cream
Berkeley Tye Dye
Mushroom Basket

I try new tomato varieties every year. This year it’s Blue Cream, Tye Dye and Mushroom Basket. All three are ripening FAST! I can’t believe I’m already harvesting even the full size tomatoes. When I look back in my gardening journals, only the cherry tomatoes have been ready this early. The Scotch Kale and Vates Collards are steady rockers every summer and this one is no different. They are deep green and full of gorgeous leaves to harvest each night. The garlic was right on schedule, ready to harvest by late July. We have been growing our German White garlic for the past 16 years, always selecting for size. The larger cloves are so much easier to peel! We grow two 100sq. foot beds, one to eat through the year and one to sell as seed. This year the drier days and lots of sunshine, has produced the largest bulbs yet. I suppose that should be no surprise since we are always selecting for size, but it is still exciting to pull up each bulb and see how they did.

Flowers in the garden and around the homestead are blooming beautifully this year. Not only did I plant more calendula, poppy and nasturtium, but the wild and reseeding flowers have popped up in new places as well. Borage, Black eyed susan, echinacea. The hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies have been humming around me and drinking from the flowers while I work outside. Such a lovely treat. There were so many butterflies on my tiny patch of echinacea that I wondered why I’m not planting HUGE swathes of it for them. So that’s one of the things I’m already excited about for next year. Plant the no-maintenance echinacea EVERYWHERE people! Why make the butterflies have to fly around looking for these tiny patches? Because that is exactly what they are doing.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly enjoying some echinacea nectar
Calendula harvested for drying
India Jewel Nasturtium

I hope you are feeling the abundance of life and seeing the beauty around you, as I am now. These moments are fleeting. Winter is only a few months away. Soak in every moment while you can.

Much love,


P.S. Thinking about joining me in the garden next summer? Check out my website for the 2020 schedule. Registration is now open!

I live with my husband, Jeff ( on 34 beautiful acres in upstate New York. We share the dream of living "the good life" as described by Helen and Scott Nearing in their book by the same title. We have been refining that process at this location since 2003. I've been practicing the art of living well and close to Mother Earth with the help of teachers such as Tom Brown Jr., Carlos Castaneda, Lynn Andrews, John Jeavons, Scott & Helen Nearing, Jon Young and many herbalists including my first teacher Donna d'Terra. Join me as the adventure continues on many levels...


  1. Debby Howe

    Hi Suzanne I don’t know if you remember me especially just by name but I moved from Ithaca at the end of 14 and I missed it desperately. it’s so exciting and fun to see what you’re doing I’m so happy for you many blessings

    • Suzanne Johnson

      Hi Debby!
      Of course I remember you! I can see you smiling face right now. I am so glad you enjoy these! Thank you for your love and support. Many blessings to you as well.

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