Gifts and Guests

As much as anything, what I love about gardening are the nice surprises — what I call the “Gifts” and “Guests.”

The gifts come from seeds that I didn’t intentionally plant.  Since I use open-pollinated seeds, and I save my own seeds from year to year, I’m always allowing a few plants to reach the stage where they can set their own seeds.  Invariably, a few of the vegetables don’t get harvested and wind up composting on the ground.  When I work the ground to plant the following Spring, those seeds get disbursed around the garden.

For instance, below, in yellow, is what I intentionally planted in this bed.  The tomato plants, circled in blue, were gifts that sprouted from last year’s […]

When Life Dumps a Truckload of Manure in Your Driveway

Ever go through one of those times where you wake up in the morning to find a truckload of manure in your driveway? You didn’t order it. You don’t need it. You can’t return it, because the midnight interloper has left no forwarding address. And you’re not going to be able to get your car out of the garage until you get the pile moved.

What’s a person to do?

Why, read a book and plant a garden, of course.

On the book front — as Cait continues to face some of the emotional challenges of becoming a teenager, I’m always looking for ways to help her put it into perspective. I’m a firm believer that learning how to keep one’s balance and […]

Season of Rebirth

What I love most about April is its promise of spring and rebirth. Even its holidays are days that offer cause for laughter and joyous celebration.

For those of us dealing with wintry climates, April ushers in excitement for all that is sunny, warm, and green.  Winter coats get packed away, windows get thrown open, and fresh air and sunlight on our skin is the order of the day.

Okay, maybe I exaggerated just a tad on the sunlight on skin thing — today, it’s overcast with cold winds blowing, and the temp is hovering around 39 degrees.  But that’s exactly my point. April brings hope and optimism, and a chance for new beginnings.

Just have a look for yourself!

By |2016-10-24T09:56:41-04:00April 15th, 2009|Life, My Garden / Recipes|8 Comments

Follow the Bouncing Ball

With all the various projects and work stuff clamoring to get done, I’m starting to feel like the proverbial bouncing ball.

Boing! Talk to this client. Boing! Get that paperwork done! Boing! Add this idea to the to-do list. Boing! Research that article and get quotes. Boing! Meet this deadline. Boing! Boing! Boing!

In the course of all my boing-ing around, I’ve run across some items I thought you might find interesting. For your enjoyment, in no particular order:

Suzanne Clothier, one of the best dog trainers in the country, and certainly one of the most original thinkers in the dog world, has started a blog. If you like your dog news served up in a funny, erudite style, go […]

Is It Me, Or Is There Only Weird Stuff in the Fridge?

For the tenth time, Andrew opened the refrigerator, hoping that something “good” would magically materialize.  For the tenth time, when no miracle occurred and the exact same food stared back at him, he finally exclaimed, “Is it me, or is there only weird stuff in here?”

Because I hate grocery shopping even more than I hate cleaning toilets, I’ve been known to prolong going to the store for as long as is humanly possible, or until no one can stand to eat legumes and rice for one more night — whichever comes first.

But it wasn’t an empty fridge that caused Andrew’s distress. In fact, the fridge was full to bursting. With items like  collard greens and kohlrabi and daikon radishes. And […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:41-04:00February 1st, 2009|My Garden / Recipes|3 Comments

What Plant Are You?

ripe-tomatoes.jpg

Having just picked a bushel of ripe tomatoes, there was only one thing to do. Get busy making spaghetti sauce.

I put Cait on garlic and herb chopping duty, while I prepared the tomatoes.

I love having Cait help, not just because the work gets done faster, but because Cait likes to talk while she works. That’s what makes the time fly.

In the midst of chattering about this and that, I was having Cait taste all the fresh ingredients for the sauce that we’d collected from the garden — basil, oregano, garlic, carrots (I use them to add sweetness instead of sugar) and two varieties of paste […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:43-04:00August 31st, 2008|.Cait and Me, Life, My Garden / Recipes|13 Comments

Signs

Fall is in the air. No need to look at the calendar; there are signs everywhere.

Harvested at the end of July, my garlic has dried enough to cut, clean, and store. One drying screen almost done. One more to go.

drying garlic

Seed saving begins for many of my lettuces and leafy vegetables. This is Chinese Cabbage. Tiny little things, aren’t they?

bok choy seeds

This is one plant’s worth.

chinese-cabbage-seeds.jpg

I like to collect enough seeds to also have some to trade on Seed Savers Exchange.

Some captured sunshine coming into full bloom.

sunflowers1.jpg

Cait likes to grow these. Our birds like that […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:46-04:00August 22nd, 2008|My Garden / Recipes, Nature|13 Comments

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Programming —

— To cook up all this zucchini. This is one week’s worth.

zucchini

You’ve seen Monster Trucks. How about Monster Zucchinis?

Zucchini

Actually, it’s just one of my seed zucchinis from which I’ll save seeds for next year’s crop.

I’ve shared two of my favorite zucchini recipes here.

This is another family favorite.

ZUCCHINI FRITTERS
3 c. coarsely grated zucchini
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup […]
By |2016-10-24T09:56:46-04:00August 2nd, 2008|My Garden / Recipes|9 Comments
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