Category Archives: Gardening

How does your garden grow?

Very well, thank you.

But before that, I wanted to mention something we saw last weeked. It was an absolutely stunning fall day, cool without being cold, bright blue raining down from the sky. It was also the weekend of the air show, with the Blue Angels performing. We didn’t see any of that, but we did see this.


I couldn’t get the entire image in one shot, so merged two shots after flipping them vertically and horizontally. If you can’t read it, it says Happy 60th Blue Angels. Very nice, and stayed up for quite awhile as there was not much wind.

Last night was a bit cool, so we had a fire crackling.

The little one appreciated it.

Today, in addition to doing my regular work stuff, I got my hands dirty.

Transplanted the zucchini, which was erupting out of the peat pots and threatening to take over the warmer.

I also started some catnip for the kitties, stevia, cilantro, and spearmint. The dill has sprouted and is well on its way to a lovely bouqet.

What else has sprouted? Those sugar snap peas we sowed not terribly long ago.

I’ll be digging up another small section for another variety of peas (real peas, the kind that most people get out of a can). I started some carrots (little finger), and we’ll see how those do.

Next weekend it will be time to thin and space the lettuce, put up some twine for the peas to climb, and transplant the tomatoes and leeks.

And maybe – just maybe – some of these will be ready next weekend as well.

Did someone mention cooking?

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work…


Cal was right, of course: there does need to be more cooking going on around here, but it’s been a bit weird lately.

Before we get into that any deeper, though, let’s talk about this whole gardening thing, and people who think that conditions must be absolutely perfect and everything must be exactly in season before even thinking about beginning. I suppose it is simpler for you if you don’t bother to try. After all, it does entail a lot less work if you just want to sit around and bitch about how you just can’t have good vegetables in the fall, and how expensive it is to buy summer-type vegetables as the weather turns cooler.

Bah, I say. Work at it, just a little. Pay attention to what you’re doing.

10 AM this morning:

10 PM this evening:

There’s something to be said for a little nurturing.



My cousin Stacy and her husband Cueball…I mean, Troy were down for the weekend, having scored some great seats for the Florida-Georgia game today. They left for the festivities this morning after 10, with gametime at 3:30, in order to enjoy the whole experience. When they returned from a glorious Florida victory over our neighbors to the north – and I don’t mean Canada – here’s what was awaiting them (and everyone else who was here, ready to eat).

Someone take the knife away!

Perfectly baked sweet potatoes.

Add some sweet corn, unfrozen from our summer bushel, and you have dinner.

But wait, there’s more! Two kinds of bread: honey oatmeal loaf (for small sandwiches).

Bread porn!

And more Italian bread.

Bonus bread porn!

‘Til the season for Halloween parties, too. Aubrey was going to go as a compost ball…

…but settled instead on Helen of Troy.

Holy smokes!

Do… Do you know what this is? This is… A lamp!

Oops, sorry, that’s not right at all.

It’s actually lettuce.

Yes, the lettuce has already sprouted. The other day, my mom sowed the peas while I transplanted the broccoli and collards, and tonight, we finally have the rain we’ve been awaiting for three days to give them as deep a soak as they can get for however long this lasts.

What else is sprouting? The zucchini, the leeks, and two of the tomatoes. I’m always amazed by new life.

We also have kumquats ripening on the tree, and I managed to find a place to send a meyer lemon tree here – I also ordered an orange tree and a lime tree from that same place. There are basil leaves drying on a rack in the kitchen, and we used some fresh parsley in the rice pilaf I made earlier this week. I’m very pleased with all this activity popping up around us, but I do have to remind myself to keep things in check so I don’t take over the entire backyard as a garden.

Out of season

“So…you’re growing tomatoes.”


“And zucchini.”


“And basil and oregano. And peppers.”


“You know these are all summer crops, right?”


“And you’re growing them organically, with no pesticides, no boosters, no chemical fertilizers.”


“Sorry, but I just don’t think it’s going to work. Seems to me to be a waste of time.”

“Well, maybe it won’t work. Maybe nothing will germinate. Maybe nothing will take root, and I’ll be left with no homegrown vegetables of these sorts in the dead of winter, and no herbs to dry and store. But if it doesn’t work, it won’t be because I didn’t make the effort.”