...if you shop like I do.
Work-worthy sleeveless tops from JCPenney. They were on sale for a certain price, but they rang up at an even more reduced price. Plus, I used my Penney's card for an additional 15% off that day. Soon they were going to be paying me to take them off their hands. I exaggerate: I did not buy them in every color -- only three of six available colors. But that's only because they didn't have the other colors in my size, and, well, one of the colors was magenta, which really looks quite hideous on me and, when I see it in clothes, makes me want to vomit. I'm an equal-opportunity color-lover except when it comes to magenta and neons. (Although I can tolerate them in small doses -- very small doses -- such as in prints. And magenta flowers? I'm all about it.)
May I also take this opportunity to mention, in a separate but related topic, that it's nice getting older. When I was young, I was far too self-conscious of my arms to go sleeveless. And I am a sweater. No, I am not a cardigan or a pullover -- I am a person who SWEATS. So going sleeveless, especially in these days when we are all trying, or should be trying, to cut back on air conditioning, is a great option. And not going sleeveless, when you are indeed a sweater, and inevitably end up with large sweat rings on your garment under your arms, regardless if the temperature is 40 below or 100 above, is not a good look. It's a good thing that as I've gotten older, I don't care that my arms are as big as a man's, or that I have some extra fat and cellulite, or that I'm pale. Screw it. I don't have the perfect body, but I'm fit enough, and healthy.
Several months ago, I was working out at the gym with Abigail. I of course was sweating, A LOT, as I do. And Abigail was bothered by the fact that I had a sweat mark somewhere near one of my nipples. She said, "That's an unfortunate location for sweat to show," and I'm quite sure she wanted a) me to cover it up, and b) to not let anyone know that she was with me. God, I can remember being like that. I'm sooooooo glad that phase is over. What a trivial, trivial thing to worry about.
It's so freeing. Another good reason for being over 45.
One hundred and fifty posts this year. Two hundred eleven nonstop since November 1, 2007. I guess I'm on a roll, and I like it.
Klap your hands for Kickass Kale and Other Gkreens for Braisink
...from my kingdom. (It's very green and lush around here right now, I must admit. I'm not gloating. Really.)
BRAISED GREENS (Easy and Quick! You ken do this! Yes, you ken!)
Assemble a larger quantity than you think you will need (they cook down in volume a lot) of various young greens. Mine this time were kale, beet greens, spinach, and of course my new find, radish greens. Rinse the greens, and shake off most of the water, leaving them a little bit wet.
Heat a tablespoon or two of a good-quality oil over medium-high heat. This time I used peanut oil. (Peanut oil is great for stir-frying and braising, because it can tolerate high heat. It's also high in vitamin E, which is a good thing, or so they tell me.)
Add the greens to the hot oil, stirring to coat them with oil. Stir occasionally. After a little while, sprinkle some salt on if you wish. Let them continue to wilt down, stirring occasionally. Don't overcook them!
You can eat them just like that. Or do as I did this time: Sprinkle them with a little balsamic vinegar. Or lemon juice. Be creative. Pine nuts would be a nice addition, as would garlic cloves added to the oil when it is heating (but be careful not to burn the garlic). Sliced onions or scallions added at that time would be good, too.
Your body will thank you.
This is very, very early in the year for me to be enjoying such bounty from my kingdom. I'm not komplainink.
P.S. THANKS for all the great ideas for chives yesterday!
P.P.S. I feel we must stage an intervention for Poor Sandy. Girl's never had a radish. How can a gastronome of such stature have never had a radish, I ask you! I'd ship some of mine, but they wouldn't ship well. I'd put them in the car and drive some down there to her, but for the price of gas and global warming. Sandy, get thee to a farmer's market and buy (and eat) a radish. You cannot leave this earth without having tasted one. I mean, really.
P.P.P.S. K is also for kvetch. I have not yet been blessed with the Typepad upgrade, praaaaiiiisssse the Loooooorrrrd. But I had my first experience with trying to leave a comment last night, and having it deny me. Twice! How dare you deny me, Typepadsk? And then this morning MY blog did not publish at its preset time. I had to publish it this morning after I got up. Please do me a favor: Finish debugging that fooker before you send the upgrade my way. Believe me, you'd rather piss off my friends than me. KThanks.
1. I have lots of chives in my garden, but I no longer eat things like cream cheese and chives on bagels or sour cream and chives on baked potatoes. I sometimes mourn those things, but I'm much, much better off without them. But, assuming a high-protein/low-carb lifestyle (I mostly save my carbs for chocolate, and I'm sorry, but I won't put chives on my chocolate.) what do you do with chives without cream cheese and sour cream and pasta and bread? Chives in scrambled eggs, I guess. Other than that?
2. I answered my own question with a few well-placed Google queries and my own imagination: For example: Goat's cheese, asparagus & chive crustless quiche. Caramelized shallot, mushroom and chive quiche. Chive flower omelets. How about jumbo shrimp and salmon chunks baked in garlic and chive butter? I'm thinking one of these nights soon I might add chives to goat's cheese, flatten a chicken breast, then spread the cheese-and-chive mixture inside the breast, roll it up, and bake it.
5. I like radishes, and I grow them every year. They have always struggled in my clay soil, but they are positively thriving in the raised beds. Yay! But I have just discovered that I have always underestimated the poor little radish. I never thought of it as anything more than a peppery garnish, and figured it wasn't very high in nutritional value. Definitely better than a cupcake, but as far as vegetables go, I thought it was pretty empty. But then I read this, and I got totally turned on to focusing more on the radish and less on the little red garnish in my salad. In addition, to focus on the leaves, which are doubly high in vitamin C and other good things. So there's another challenge in my kitchen. How do I incorporate radish leaves into my food and not just waste the most nutritious part of the radish? The leaves are quite hairy, which is not an attribute I appreciate, and therefore they are not so pleasant to eat on their own. But I did it!
6. Here's what I did: I chopped up four or five radishes and their leaves quite fine. I stirred them into some soft goat's cheese (chevre). I took the cheese-radish combo and I spread it on some thick-sliced deli roast beef and some pastrami, rolled up the meat slices with the radish-filled cheese inside, and ate three of the rolls for lunch. They were great. I preferred the pastrami one for flavor, but I try not to eat many processed meats. The deli roast beef strikes me as a bit less processed than pastrami. Still, quite nice. If I were still a vegetarian and ate bread, I would try the cheese-radish mixture on whole-wheat, pumpernickel, or sourdough toast. (I do eat certain kinds of bread on occasion, and I will try it that way, as well.)
6.1. And I did something else: I had homemade chicken-mushroom soup simmering on the stove. Just before serving it, I put radish leaves in and let them cook slightly 'til they were bright green. It was delicious! They had a very mild spinach-y taste, with no hairiness evident from the leaves.
7. Given the affinity of beef to radish (or horseradish) and goat's cheese, I think if you took all that stuff and blended it together in a blender (roast beef, radishes, radish leaves, and chevre), or just chopped it fine and stirred it together, you could dollop it on toast points or garlic melba toasts or the like, garnished with a couple of chive pieces, for a very elegant appetizer. Or if you didn't want to have the blended look, you could layer it. Or you could get thick-sliced pastrami, spread the spread on it, roll it up, and slice it into pretty rollups. Cripes, now I'm wishing for the next dinner party or potluck I'm invited to, so I can try this.
8. So the next time you buy radishes at your farmer's market or get them in your CSA share, don't throw away the leaves! They're filled with good nutrition. Of course it goes without saying (or maybe it doesn't), the fresher and younger the radish, the nicer the leaves will be.
3. I think I'm going to skip K in the ABC-Along. I did keyboard last time around, and I pulled out the unabridged dictionary and scoured it for another K word that would work for me. There just aren't any. I'm taking a stand against the K.
4. Or maybe I'll come up with something at the last minute. I remember that's how I came up with keyboard last time, too. I must have a mental block about Ks. Of course, then down the road comes the X and a few other nefarious letters. I do remember now why I said I would never do the ABC-Along again.
13. Has anyone noticed the randomly misplaced numbers?
9. Since we last "spoke," I have set up and planted two more raised beds. This time I planted tomatoes and basil and radishes in one, and sweet and hot peppers and cucumbers in another. My garden has never looked so pretty and orderly before. I'm in love with the raised-bed system, and I'm unstoppable!
10. I'm so much happier blogging since I've given myself permission to not knit and not blog about knitting, but blog about whatever is on my mind. That's what it's all about.
I was only there to buy flowers for the barrels on the porch. I was feeling especially mellow that afternoon, and surprisingly the crowds at the garden center were low, especially for Memorial Day Weekend. I was wandering a bit after choosing my flowers. I like to grow flowers, but I LOVE to grow vegetables, so even though I started my own seeds this year, have more seedlings than I have places to put them, and had no business venturing into the vegetable section of the nursery, I couldn't help myself. I wandered on through. I saw lots of things that didn't interest me because I already have my own seedlings of same. Then I saw sugar pie pumpkins and winter squash. I have not grown those for many years because they are huge space hogs and I really don't have the space. I walked away.
Then I had a brainstorm. I have three compost bins which are mostly full right now. And what are compost bins but, as I described in my lasagna gardening post, just lasagna gardens in a slightly different shape? They're taller, but they're just sitting there helping the stuff decompose. They're filled with nutritious decomposing stuff, and they are heat sinks. And being taller, they might be just the thing for space-hogging, vining, heat-loving plants like pumpkins and winter squash. Why not use the compost to grow things in as it's decomposing?!
An experiment is born.
I bought two pairs of pumpkin seedlings and one pair of winter squash. (99 cents for each pair) Then while I was at it, because I know it will take a little while for those plants to get as ginormous as they will eventually become, I decided to get another flat of Romaine lettuce to stick in around them. Might as well have a few salads from this thing, too.
I came home and, using the mostly decomposed stuff in the center bin, which is the best-made of the three and therefore the most efficient at "cooking" compost, (improvements in the design keep getting made) I finished filling up the two bins on the side, to the brims. I plunked my new seedlings in, and I watered. Let's just see how they perform, shall we? The only problem I envision is that as the stuff in the compost bins decomposes, it settles down quite a lot. Hopefully that will not draw the plants and vines down in too far to benefit from the sun, and/or put stress on the vines that are climbing out over the rather sharp edges of the bins.
That still leaves the better, faster-acting bin in the center for us to use to continue our ongoing composting all summer long.
I'll keep you posted as to the success or failure of this little experiment. These photos were taken immediately after planting, and as of this writing it's actually been about 48 hours. And you should SEE how the plantlets have taken hold and settled in and almost doubled in size! Like plants on steroids! They are clearly loving their environment. I'm excited and pleased about this, and actually wish I'd gotten more of that Romaine.
Meanwhile, would you massage my back a little? For some reason, it hurrrrrrrts.
I've been asked by several people if I'd do a lasagna gardening tutorial. Well, what a nice coincidence that I just bought four new raised beds, I wanted to start a new bed for planting more spinach, and the camera was handy.
You don't need to have a raised bed to do this -- you can do it anywhere, just mounded up on the ground, even. But a nice raised bed keeps everything confined and neat. In my case, I have a black plastic raised bed that I got at Gardener's Supply. You know -- they're the ones that are on backorder, but not really, because people just apparently didn't know where in the warehouse to look. Or something. Anyway, my snarky comments aside, I love them. They're lightweight, easy to put together, made of recycled plastic, keep the heat and moisture in, survive the winters, and last several years without rotting. And as with any raised bed, you can do intensive planting and really get a big bang for your buck, all with the benefits of less water than is required to water a large garden space, and easier weeding.
What you are basically doing with lasagna gardening is planting directly into your compost pile. For me, it solves myriad problems, not least of which is that I have TOO MUCH/MANY cuttings and clippings and weeds and leaves each year to fit into the three compost bins I now have "running."
For your lasagna garden, the first step is, of course, to find your location. It can be anywhere there is enough sun to grow what it is you want to grow. Most vegetables need direct sun a minimum of six hours a day. The location should be sort of flat. (-ish.) In my place, finding anyplace flat is a challenge, and I've even put some of mine on a bit of a slope. I'm sort of lazy that way. If I were doing this to get a grade on it for a class or something, I'd want to level the area, but I'm sort of slap-dash when it comes to the garden. I will admit that it makes a bit of a difference, especially when you have just planted seeds and there is a heck of a rainstorm, and all the seeds germinate a week later at the lower end of the garden bed. Ask me how I know.
Also, of course, the water drains down, so the upper parts can get dried out more quickly. So, yeah. Don't do it like me. Level it. You can literally plunk this down right on your lawn, if you like the location. That's another beauty of a raised bed. And if it turns out you don't like the location, it's relatively easy to move.
Wet the ground where you want to put it before (or after) you put it down. (The bottom has nothing in it. It's just a frame to hold soil above the original grade level.) If you're putting it on your lawn, that's all there is to it. You don't need to do anything to the grass beneath. It will die and decompose and contribute to the organic matter, and the worms and microorganisms will do their respective jobs to turn the organic matter into the proper growing medium and nutrients for your plants. Nature is a wonderful thing.
In the bottom of your lasagna, you ideally want some wet newspaper or clean cardboard. Worms love wet newspaper or cardboard. For some reason, it will make them come "running." And worms are what you want to consume and digest your organic materials, so you want to make it inviting for them. Even this is not essential, though. Give them organic materials of any sort that are not treated with chemicals, and moisture, and they will come. I frankly do not know how it is that they make it through the hard clay of my native soil, but they do.
Bonus: If you buy a Gardener's Supply black plastic raised bed, it comes in a cardboard box that has no staples, tape, or any other such nonsense, and when opened, it is almost perfectly the right size to line the bottom of your lasagna garden. Spray water on both sides of the cardboard, or newspaper, and put it on the bottom.
Then you start layering clean, untreated-with-any-chemicals organic materials over the wet newspaper or cardboard. This time, I started with some old half-rotted hay and some leaves.
Spray it with water to make it nice and wet, but not soggy. The gardening experts always say to make it as moist as a squeezed-out sponge. Well, I don't know about that, but it's as good a thing to say as any other, I guess. There needs to be moisture for the decomposition to take place, and yet it can't get too soggy. So, yeah. Squeezed-out sponge is a good description.
The lasagna now needs some green stuff for nitrogen, and as much natural variety as possible for various nutrients for the plants. I've added some weeds, some deadheads from daffodils and tulips, kitchen scraps of coffee grounds, vegetable and fruit peelings, eggshells, and some old half-spoiled vegetables and fruits from the bottom of the refrigerator bin.
Keep on layering stuff like that -- the majority of the stuff should be brown ingredients like brown leaves or old hay or old plant stems from last year's garden cleanup, and there needs to be a bit of green. I sprinkle a bit of my garden soil on every once in a while. I figure this adds some lovely little microbes and beneficial organisms to help with the decomposition. I imagine some scientist somewhere or other has determined the exact ratio of brown carboniferous ingredients to green nitrogenous ingredients, but you know me and the kitchen and the garden, right? I just use my intuition. It all seems to work out. I have this New Age theory about my
insanity intuition. I figure I learned all this the "right" way in a past life, and now I'm just working on some sort of memory without realizing it.
In case you are less inclined than I to use your intuition, here is a little thing on the topic that I found here:
Almost any organic material is suitable for a compost pile. The pile needs a proper ratio of carbon-rich materials, or "browns," and nitrogen-rich materials, or "greens." Among the brown materials are dried leaves, straw, and wood chips. Nitrogen materials are fresh or green, such as grass clippings and kitchen scraps.
Mixing certain types of materials or changing the proportions can make a difference in the rate of decomposition. Achieving the best mix is more an art gained through experience than an exact science. The ideal ratio approaches 25 parts browns to 1 part greens. Judge the amounts roughly equal by weight. Too much carbon will cause the pile to break down too slowly, while too much nitrogen can cause odor. The carbon provides energy for the microbes, and the nitrogen provides protein.
Spray it with water.
I happened to have three piles of slightly woody stems that were cut from last year's various tall perennials and left in unsightly piles at the edge of our driveway. They were slightly decomposed, which is a good thing, but they were still kind of on the "stick-like" side. That means there is a lot of airspace, and these sorts of tough materials take a bit longer to decompose. So I made like Lucille Ball in the wine vats to stomp on it to start to break it down quite a lot.
Can you 'magine what the neighbors must have thought if they happened to look out their windows just then? Me stomping, jumping, and flailing about in a little black box? "Oh, there she goes again."
Some more fresh grass and weeds for nitrogen. I don't worry about weeds in my compost or in these beds. I've found that if layered correctly, they decompose nicely and don't usually seed or sprout, even the horsetail. If they do sprout, the raised beds make it very easy to remove them.
More stomping. Just because.
Layers, like lasagna, see?
In this case, because of all those materials that are twig-like and the air spaces they created, I mounded the materials up extra high. As they decompose, they will settle down. Each year I add another layer of organic materials because the contents settle.
This day, in order to fill in and smooth out some of the space created by the twiggy stems, I poured part of a bag of peat moss over the mound. I have tried to get away from using so much peat moss, since depletion of peat bogs is an environmental concern. That is another reason in favor of me using the raised beds: My hard clay soil very much benefited from peat, but it required copious amounts of it each year to make a difference. It was much easier to dig in peat moss than my other "gross" organic materials, and therefore using my half-rotted compost or leaves or hay was not a good option for me before the raised-bed-lasagna system. (I don't have a tiller and don't like to use one, preferring to dig instead. I think a tiller raises havoc with natural soil structure -- in my case, with the clay, I feel that it makes it even more concrete-like.) I love the lasagna! It's organic gardening at its easiest and best, and I wish I'd learned about it years sooner.
And then, to top it off, like the final topping of mozzarella on the lasagna, I poured a small bag of, in my opinion, the best compost in the whole wide world: Intervale complete compost ("complete compost" meaning composted manure and other super-fabulous ingredients, such as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters coffee grounds, people's yard wastes, local restaurant and dining hall castoffs, and Ben & Jerry's ice cream byproducts, to make a balanced blend of gorgeous, nutritious stuff -- as opposed to my homemade compost which is all-vegetable and isn't quite as rich in nutrients as this stuff is) over it as a final rich dressing and as a nice place to plant my seeds.
Usually, I have lots of partially decomposed compost of my own to use for filling these beds, or layering with the other organic materials like leaves or hay. But since I only just refilled my compost bins with lots of fresh materials a couple of weeks ago, I left them to "cook" longer on their own. I have three more new beds to set up shortly, and I will probably use a lot of the contents of those compost bins for that purpose.
But back to this bin, this day: I planted it up on the top layer with lots and lots of spinach seeds.
Now I water, keep moist, and wait for germination. I expect the plants to be verra-verra happy. They will feed on the upper layer of compost, and then they, and plants that will follow, will feed on the layers of organic material that are decomposing below, being consumed by worms which leave their castings (poop) to further feed the plants. This being a natural and organic process, there will be lots of other microbial activities going on, too. Due to the healthy, natural balance, it will probably have no disease or pest problems, and very few weeds. I will keep you fully informed of this bed's progress over the summer. I expect to grow and harvest the spinach, and at some point before the summer is halfway over, plant something else in there and harvest it, as well. If I get off my duff better than I did last year, I will fill this bed, and another, with garlic this fall. It will be a very productive little 9 square feet of space and well worth the money and time invested.
And voila! A little salad, and a nice glass of wine, and it's spinach lasagna for dinner.
One wheelbarrow, two wheelbarrows, three wheelbarrows, four.....
Five wheelbarrows, six wheelbarrows, seven wheelbarrows, more.
I'm too tired to attempt to carry on the rhyme. Yesterday I weeded and deadheaded and edged and pushed that wheelbarrow up a steep grade more times than I'd care to remember. I started a new raised bed with all those weeds added to old hay and leaves and composted manure. I turned over some soil, and I planted some arugula, zucchini, and summer squash seeds. The turning over of the soil, it is fast becoming an extinct activity, what with all my space, little by little, being covered in raised beds, each filled with gloriously lovely, productive and healthy, non-clay soil. And although turning over the soil is one of my favorite things to do in the garden, I won't miss it a bit. Does that make sense?
Every inch of my body aches, and the vista of horsetail and other weeds in the flower gardens (though really, if it weren't for the horsetail infestation, the weeds wouldn't be so bad at all*) still reaches as far as I can see.
But all of a sudden (and it's still only May) there is this:
Lunch. It literally couldn't be any more fresh. Organic, clean, raised by my own hands from seed to salad, so delicious and oh, so healthy.
It's worth every ache and every bead of sweat.
* When re-reading this, the song lyrics popped into my head: "If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all." Heh.
Michelle opened my world to all the brilliant nonsense of GraphJam. But oh, how I can't stop laughing out loud. How much time do you have to kill? Go look in there if you don't mind getting sucked in and need a laugh or two. Or a thousand. (I love at the bottom: click "next page"....or "on to infinity.")
Cake or Death, Pie-Charted:
My apologies (but not really) if this means absolutely nothing to you. In order to understand this graph you need to understand my favorite comedian, Eddie Izzard, and you need to know this routine, "Cake or Death." I commend you, if you are not familiar with Eddie, please rent Dress to Kill.
Here is a BRILLIANT Lego animation of the routine. Where do people get their brains, I ask you? People can be just odious things, but then there are the ones that make my heart sing.
*The $64 Tomato, adjusted for inflation.
New bean towers: 2 @ 28.95 (In stock)
New raised beds: 4 @ 44.95 (They never ran out of them, according to the warehouse manager. Some people just didn't know where they were. Argh.)
Trellis netting for the cucumbers: 1 @ 9.99
Bags of compost: 3/$17
I'm doing my bit to keep the economy rolling, dontcha know.
You should know that even in a "bad" year, with the exception of meat and eggs, and dairy (cheese and yogurt) if we get it, we eat 100% from our own garden for the last half of July, all of August and September, and some of October and even a bit of November for the kale and broccoli and squash. And this year my goal is to can and freeze lots more than usual to carry us through the winter. The quality and volume and ease of managing the crops in the raised beds is exponentially greater than fighting with my hard clay soil and getting disappointing yields that struggle and are more prone to pests and diseases.
Of course, all the produce usually comes ready when I'm snowed under with work or other responsibilities, and I sometimes don't get to it. Let's hope that isn't true this year. I still wish I'd planted that garlic. (Have I mentioned that often enough lately?)
My AC joint was in need of attention, and the wonderful new physical therapist/body mechanics genius, Cindy, worked on it yesterday. As I'm writing this, it's sore from being worked on, but I'm taking large doses of vitamin C as recommended, expecting to sleep like a log tonight, and hoping to be a new woman soon. By the end of the appointment, she had mentioned something about wishing she had a garden and could eat clean, super-fresh produce, but she lives in a condo. I promised her homegrown organic vegetables throughout the summer. So there's another reason to justify new raised beds. Gotta keep the valuable physical therapist happy.
P.S. What's this I hear about Typepad's "compose new post" page looking different? As of now, mine still looks the same.
P.P.S. Oh, this is brilliant! I did the Google Norma thing, which I haven't done for a while. I can't stop laughing at this hit. Norma hose clamps. A Norma price list. And the motto is this precious thing:
NORMA® - providing all the options!
You know it, baby.
1. This was begun to be written for Wednesday, but then the Fucking article came in and upstaged it.
2. I don't know why, except I think this is what we used to do at the BBC: When the tech people ask me to do a test of the captions, I write TEST TEST TEST TEST several times. It's benign and easy and fast. For some reason, this amuses them. They remark, "Well, that's creative."
3. So I've started writing what they say instead. (As long as it's not verboten stuff for the big screen. Usually.) Things like, "Do you remember to bring the thing for the...[fill in the blank]?" "Where's that splitter?" "When are you going to be ready?" "How long is it?" "Why don't you just shove that in?" "What else do you need?" "Oh, you're writing what I'm saying." "Stop writing everything I'm saying." "Hey! Stop that!"
4. This gives them a chuckle. Of course it is not long afterward when they start playing along and saying things that might just be verboten for the big screen. I did refrain from writing the one about them using canned air to give the dirty video head a blow job. They have no idea who they're dealing with, do they? Should we tell them? Nah, they'll learn soon enough. I did tell them that they can say that sort of stuff around me, but they'd better not near my colleague who sometimes does this work. She has more delicate ears than I.
5. It's been COLD here the past few days. Feels like November, not May.
6. Conveniently, David has chosen a physical therapist (female, hot, young and beautiful -- probably not coincidence. I get my yard guy, he gets his P.T. Excellent fair trade, I say.) who works at our gym facilities. Since I have to bring him in, this is good for getting me in there to work out. I did a good workout on the elliptical and some random weight work Tuesday, after having not worked out for a couple of weeks. I was a bit careful of the weights on the upper body, because I've got a sore shoulder from the marathon work weekend. I think I need to find a hot young (male) hunky physical therapist. This could be good. [Update: I've hired her. She's hot enough for both of us, apparently. My first appointment is today.]
7. Abigail's been reading and commenting on the blog a lot lately. The other day she said I should change the focus of the blog entirely to my steno mistakes, as it gives her so much pleasure to read them. How many mistakes do you think I make, anyway, Sweetie???? I'm blogging 365, remember???? "Today I left out a comma and 'headway' mistranslated 'head way.'"
7.5. Snoooooooooooze. People would be unsubscribing in droves. Wait. They already are. Fook it.
8. I know you want to see How My Garden Grows. I couldn't resist making a mosaic of how great everything looked after the rain the other evening. (click it to make it bigger)
9. I wish I had a bigger asparagus bed. I've lost a few crowns over the years due to foot traffic, digging near them, or who knows why. There is just enough for the two of us to have a meal, or an enhancement to a meal, every couple of days or so. That is good to prevent hypervegetablemia, the condition of getting sick to DEATH of whatever vegetable is in season, but it is not good for my wish to freeze produce for the winter. Each spring I think that I'm going to plant some in the fall, but when fall comes around the garden has overwhelmed me and planting anything new is the last thing on my mind. I ordered 20 more crowns. Will I get them in the ground or will they dry up and die in the package? Stay tuned for further developments.
9.5. Speaking of which, I'm kicking myself all over for not having planted that garlic last fall. Soon I would be enjoying garlic scapes and then the wonderful fresh garlic, had I just made myself get out there and plant it. Gah.
10. We are going to have some wicked good salads soon, though. The Heirloom Lettuce Collection from SeedSavers is making some terrific-looking lettuces. Yesterday I planted some new Rocky Top Lettuce Mix seeds around the bases of the broccoli and kale plants.
10.5. While sitting and waiting for David at one of his appointments, I read an article that said gardening centers are super-busy this year due to the increasing prices of produce, so people are gardening more. Yay for gardening more, but this probably explains why "that place" has everything on backorder. And that just pisses me off. (According to my online shopping cart, bean towers are back in stock, though. I'm going to try to get some today.)
11. Looking at these photos gives me an idea of how deceiving gardening catalog photos can be. It looks like I have acres of beets up there, doesn't it, and not just two 3-ft.-by-3-ft. beds?
12. I put my hand in a couple of the photos for scale -- broccoli and kale. Those seedlings have grown exponentially since I put them out.
13. I planted quite a bit more spinach after the last post where I learned about the germinating temperature for spinach, and much of it has already germinated. Yay. Now we must all bow our heads and pray for it not being eaten by varmints and for no heat waves to befall us. Spinach will bolt (go to seed) like a motherfooker in a heat wave.
14. Good LORD, but that man can knit. I am truly not a covetous person, but every single thing he knits turns me on.