Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

July-ing

July 22, 2009

Well, it’s been considerably rainier than June, but summer is still summering along……..

Mets

I saw the Binghamton Mets trounce some Tigers farm team on the 4th of July.  Binghamton has one of those charming stadiums where trains go by during the games, leading to fantasies about home runs and open cars and other kinds of Americana.  Also, it’s nice to see a healthy crowd in Bing!

dog beach

I’ve also been spending time at the beach.  Lake Champlain is the perfect temperature in July.  Seriously!

garden

The garden is doing really well and so far surviving most of the rain and hail.  Things are pretty weedy down in the bottom third (next year, I should just plant all that with corn), but there is a tiny tomatillo, my battles with insects seem to pretty much be a tie at this point, and we are REALLY starting to eat the benefits!

salad

Summer vegetable salad: boiled new potatoes, purple and yukon; boiled beets (not in the same water); sliced scallions, dill, snap peas; olive oil, rice vinegar, salt and pepper

Greens

May 24, 2009

Oh geez, it has been awhile since I have posted.  That is because it is MAY, and I have been busy being OUTSIDE.  This morning it is pouring rain and the Burlington marathon in happening — I can see those runners going by in the rain from the studio window.  Everybody is walking down to the waterfront to watch those sufferers bring it in, nipples bleeding, and get their silver superhero blankets.

The point of green land you can see in this picture is where our garden is — looking, in this view, from North Beach.  We’ve done a lot of work in it this week, and things that are starting to come up include: peas, radishes, mustard, mesclun, arugula, calendula, poppies, and carrots.  My transplants of onions, scallions, leeks, shallots, and cabbage are not doing so well since the light frost we had earlier this week, but there’s at least one plant of each hanging in there.  We’ve also planted corn, three kinds of potatoes, beets, beans, spinach, herbs, and nasturtiums.  All that is really left is to put in our pepper, tomato, and tomatillo transplants, probably next week, and the bottom third, which is all mounds of squash, cukes, melons and pumpkins.

Of course, while you are planting things to grow, all the edible greens that plant themselves are coming up too.  This is lambs quarters, or chenopodium album, which likes disturbed soil like your garden beds or compost piles.  You can eat it fresh or cooked any way, like spinach, but it’s more flavorful, nutty and a bit sharp.  It usually has magical, purple-pink fairy dust on it.  There are also plenty of nettles, garlic mustard, ground ivy, wild violets, and the bitter last bits of dandelion greens around.  Another new plant I just learned about is Japanese Knotweed:

It looks like this, and it’s invasive, and taking over Burlington in a BIG way.  As soon as it was pointed out to me, I started noticing it everywhere.  If you walk up (or, ahem, bike all the way up, like I did on Wednesday) Depot Street from the lake, look up on your right and you will see a FOREST of it.  Anyway, if you cut the stalks when they are young, about a foot tall, you can slice them up to cook and they taste like mild rhubarb.

Speaking of rhubarb, today Penny Cluse has a cornbread french toast special with rhubarb compote.

New acquisitions

March 12, 2009

Well, FINALLY!

After a tip from Paddy, we rushed over to Jamba’s Junktiques yesterday and purchased ourselves an almost complete DRUM KIT!

We got a super deal, and while there are a few things to assemble — namely the high hat, a new snare, and a stand for the ride cymbal — I have a drum set!!!!  I think it’s possible that nothing is more fun than playing drums.

nncustom_main

This is not a picture of the new drum set.  However, they share in common a brand, and that brand is Gretsch, whose website tells me that Gretsch drums are played by Phil Collins, a bunch of dudes I’ve never heard of since I’m not an official drummer, and of course the greats:  Art Blakey, Max Roach, and Philly Jo Jones.

I also got a book on organic gardening and a GROW LIGHT for my birthday.

The gardening book is by Rodale’s, which is a pretty visionary organization started by J.I. Rodale, who moved to Pennsylvania in the thirties and was kind of an organic gardening pioneer — he was obsessed with soil, and for good reason!  Now they have books, and the Rodale Institute, where they do all sorts of fascinating gardening things.

We have a community garden plot, so there isn’t that much opportunity for soil health from year to year, but there are still some things we can do.  This week I’m going to plant onions and put those little babies under the grow light so they won’t be so spindly, like last year.  Garden season is really coming!  And we have a new deal with our neighbors across the street, which involves us using their compost pile, and hopefully a few fresh eggs might come out of it!

shoes-and-parsley