July 2011



I continue to be amazed by MN (Mother Nature, you know her. You cursed her in January when we got 4 feet of snow.) This single hollyhock, over six feet tall is growing amongst (does anyone else use “amongst” anymore? What about “whilst?” Go ahead. Use “whilst” in a sentence. C’mon, try. I KNOW! I can’t either.) the weeds behind our Kitchen Garden (formerly known as “Peber’s Point”).

A few years ago, I threw some random, old seeds into the scrub. And forgot about them. Until now. Have you seen the seed pod of a hollyhock? There are, like, 8 seeds per pod. That is all. So, it seems that one took hold and decided to grace us with its presence after taking a vacation for a couple of years.

Should I lapse into squeals like the Double Rainbow Guy, (“WHAT DOES IT MEAN?”) or just recognize that the world works in mysterious ways. For examples, my sweet husband somehow picked me (Sucker!), flour and water on our windowsill gets “infected” with airborne bacteria to make our sourdough starter, and fairly old seeds thrown into the scrub yield a surprise beauty like this stately specimen.

I kind of like that. It sort of keeps a little homesteader on her toes. There are no guarantees. Each time is going to be different than the next. Forrest, please come over here and tell everyone Mama’s theory on life…

Hm, I wonder what Mama Gump would say about my garden.

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I found this on a quote website under Garden Quotes. There was no author posted.

“My neighbors don’t recognize me by my face, but they know my butt well.”

It was worth sharing.


The Daisy Patch.

My tomato haiku…ahem…

They’re called Tomatoes

My friend calls them TommyToes

Really, his kids do

We have the blight again, but (cross your fingers, knock on wood, pinch the bamboo, yes I am superstitious) (“pinch the bamboo” sounded dirty) they seem to be thriving still. Who knows how long it will last. I think the blight isn’t spreading because it has been so dry. (OK! That is an understatement. It has been bloody, freeking hot, like 105 for New Hampshire is unheard of hellhot.) We have been spraying with organic fungicide (which smells EXACTLY like Grandpa’s camp. Technically, it smells like Bactine, but I only remember Bactine from Grandpa’s camp, ergo, my comparison). We also have been removing the diseased leaves which prevents splashing the fungus during a rainstorm. (Which hasn’t happened. Because it is bloody, freeking hot.)

While outside puttering, I noticed how different the leaves are amongst (between? whatever, you get it) the different varieties of ‘maters. I thought I’d kind of, you know, show a little variety map. Ready? Brace yourself, this is GRIPPING STUFF. (Seriously? Why does this fascinate me? I have no idea.)

Those patio tomatoes, the last one, were a garden center replacement for one we lost. Of course, it is a hybrid and is not touched, at all, by the blight. The others are heirloom and are, of course, affected quite a bit by it. Of course. We are planning to move all the tomatoes to the front kitchen garden next year and the lettuces, etc. will hopefully be in the greenhouse.

All in all, we are hoping to have tomatoes this year. We have already harvested three striped Roma tomatoes, and the plants ARE full of flowers, and Keith has been using the organic bloom booster so here’s hoping the fruit stays ahead of the fungus.


My garlic haiku…ahem…

The dream of garlic

Fragrancing my dinner plate

The smell of comfort

It is time to harvest the garlic. How do I know? They told me. Well, not in words, although, I am sure you, gentle reader, (if you have been reading this little site) would not be surprised if I confessed the vegetables spoke to me. Once 1/3 of the tops of the greens are yellow, pull ’em out baby.

Here’s the process.

1. Notice the yellowed, droopy tops.

2. Holding your hand at the base of the greens, gently pull the greens upward. If it is holding firm, you might need to loosen the soil around the bulb. I use a gloved finger, not wanting to spear the bulb with my trowel. This is easier on a dry day.

3. Gently lay all the bulbs, with their tops, in a cool, dry place, preferably up off the ground. We have a hammock that is strung between 2 trees and I have found that to be the perfect location. Don’t bounce them around a lot. They’re easily bruised at this stage.

4. Let them set. I leave them on the hammock overnight (as long as it doesn’t rain). This setting will get the papery husks to dry a bit. Don’t peel them! That will protect the bulbs. Peel them when you are ready to eat.

5. Carefully brush the dirt from the bulbs. A paint brush easily does the trick. It is ok if they still have a bit of dirt on them. You don’t want to fuss too much.

6. Braid them up. Tie at the top of the braid and hang them from the ceiling in a cool, dark place.

7. To use them, snip from the braid.

Shallots


I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the healing shadow of the woods. Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup. ~Wendell Berry


Penumbra — The name given to the shadow cast by a celestial object that only blocks a portion of the light.

This is my attempt at a DaisyPatch version of the Twilight cover.

(THIS is why my husband calls me a “DORK” but I am posting anyway because it makes me laugh)


Enjoy.

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