Sunday, October 17, 2010

"with a little water and a little bit of sunlight and a little bit of tender mercy"

the song: "Absolute Lithops Effect" The Mountain Goats

This has been a busy week for me. Along with my new job (which I still haven't told you about...this week, I promise!), I also picked up some hours substituting at my old school. After taking a break from children for the past 4 months, I'm having a really good time hanging out with them again. On Friday, one of the three year olds told me "I love you because of your shiny face." I'm taking that as a compliment.

Because I've been so busy I've been a little neglectful of my garden. The husband has been helping me out by watering my little plants who are still fragile when the weather gets up into the 80s. He's been telling me all week "Wow, it's really looking good out there." I took that to mean that he was just seeing the work from a month ago when I put in our fall vegetables. But today I finally got out into the yard. And yeah, it's looking pretty amazing.

Leftover pepper plants from the summer are producing beautifully, even better than they did during the hottest months. I'm counting at least 6 bell peppers on one plant. Same goes for the eggplant. I need to think of some good dishes to use up the last remnants of the summer. Maybe some vegetable fajitas or ratatouille. Also, I might try to pickle some of the hotter peppers. I've never tried it before, but homegrown hot peppers are something we really miss once the weather turns cooler.

Another summer reminder. My basil stayed small this year, but it is still so pretty. Summer isn't my favorite time in the garden, but it does produce some lovely things. The little tinge of purple really gets me.

Now let's get to the fall plants. Out of the 30 or so plants that I put in last month, I only lost 2 (one collard, one beet). That's not too bad, considering I pushed it and put them in when it was still pretty warm. My greens are thriving- we had our first harvest last week for some Asian greens to go into a stir fry. There is homegrown greens. Broccoli rabe will be the next harvest. In one month, it has gone from this:

To this:

Pretty, right?  I'm planning on using this in soups, sauteing it with garlic, and throwing it into some pasta with a little tempeh. I'm so lucky that the husband is ok with bitter, alternative greens. I don't know what I would do if I lived with an eater who only liked baby spinach.

Something is nibbling on my brussels sprouts and cauliflower. This one- a cheddar cauliflower that produces orange florets- has just been sampled, but there are a few brussles plants that are pretty chewed up. It always surprises me how picky the little buggers are. Why brussels sprouts but not collards? Why cauliflower but not broccoli? One goal for today is to track down some diatomaceous earth.

Anyway, things are looking good around here. And I'm truly inspired by my little plants. I can't wait for the first fall harvest. Come on cooler weather and bowls of greens! We're ready for you.



  1. Awesome! The garden is looking good, Em! Keely and I read your blog alot and cook some of your recipes. We've got an active bell pepper plant, huge and healthy basil, broccoli and carrots (From seed!) doing well, swiss chard (which you inspired) growing like crazy, 3 healthy pumpkin plants (that seem a bit stunted), and gobs of garlic growing. Oh, and kale! You guys are a big gardening inspiration for us, so thanks!

  2. Rob, I'm jealous! I've never had luck with carrots for some reason. And homegrown garlic?! Please save us some for John's b-day this year. :)