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Showing posts from September, 2012

Sott' olio

Farmer's market red peppers, plus homegrown orange ones, roasted and peeled. . .

Folded into jars with their researved juices, vinegar and salt, then topped with a slick of greeny extra-virgin olive oil.

I can hardly wait for the winter afternoon when I open a jar, smear some goat cheese on fresh ciabatta, drop a couple of slices of pepper on top, and bite into summer.

Now What?

I'm anxiously waiting for the asparagus to die back so I can cut it. . .

And I'm seeing new sprouts. Something like this happened with artichokes in Arizona. Dratted things never, ever died back.

But I don't think I can deal with huge 6' tall asparagus bushes.


Starting steps

As I've mentioned before, starting things is easy; keeping going is more difficult. Presumably, this is a general human-condition thing. Since I missed the window to start fall-planted plants, in July, my impulse is to flop around and decide not to do anything.

But large open areas in the garden make me feel guilty, so I bought some lettuces and put them in.

And also, buying plants makes me feel guilty, so I managed to sow some peas.

I also should sift my compost and turn it to raise the heat, if I don't want to be dealing with constant volunteers.

Maybe digging potatoes thoroughly would be a good idea, too. Sigh. I planted, and that's all I'm going to focus on here. Also, supports should probably be made soon. Very soon. Maybe I'll have Eric lash me together some bamboo!

Turns out that if you hack off or break off an old, nasty, aphid-covered kale plant?

You can have a second flush of yummy baby kale, at least enough to hold you through until the combination of the few …

Bad Time for Boys

This could be a post about society and whether schools are set up so that boys have a more difficult time, or it could be about bees!

All three hives are active now, even with only a bit of honey on top. I see workers coming in loaded with pollen -- they look like ladies wearing jodphurs of bright colors. And they fly like lumbering cargo planes, fully loaded. Pollen is usually a sign that there are babies to feed -- and there are, but not many. Despite the mild weather, the hives are shutting down for the winter. Workers will live longer than summer foragers -- even though there is year-round forage here. Fewer babies will be born, and stored honey and pollen will be eaten to keep warm and fed while the days are short.

Any hive which tried swarming now would face overwhelmingly bad odds. Spring is the time for expansion and mating, with lengthening days, abundant forage, and increasingly warm weather. That's when new queens go on mating flights and start new colonies. That's wh…

Finishing Things

Some of us are better than others at seeing projects through. I find myself doing a fair amount of puttering -- a bit of this, a bit of that, and not a lot gets done. But if you make things for growing kids, they have to get done or they get left behind.

Although it took a ridiculous amount of time to finish these fairly easy sweaters, they did finally get done, and I assume will actually be worn. Thank goodness for superwash wool and cotton!

Someone didn't really want her picture taken, although she did give me permission this morning to post pictures.

Tor actually sort of got into the photo shoot. Had I thought, I would have channeled my inner fashion photographer and asked him to "gimme love."

He wasn't the only one in a silly position. Ahem. She seems to be announcing that she's ready for her breakfast.

Subtraction, Sauce, Strawberries and Spiciness

Busy day yesterday. The Lone Remaining Homeschooler (all remaining children having gone or been sent to school or college) spent a lot of quality time with Khan Academy, wrestling with multiple-digit borrowing. She giggles iher way through the explanatory videos, and then works out the problems, squealing when she gets them right. It's a very cheery way to do math, and I do a lot of over-shoulder looking and helping, too. A nice balance.

While she was busy, I gathered everything I needed to do some canning. A recipe for fermented hot sauce sounded appealing, or at least appealing to make, if not to consume. I had a fancy pickling jar cookie jar from Target ready and available, plus lots of too-hot-for-me peppers. And, weeks late, I managed to harvest from the abundant apple tree down the street. Two shopping bags were all I could reach standing on the ground, and I fear I missed the peak of the harvest, judging by the amount of apples on the ground. Alas. Anyhow, I was set up for…

Reminders for next spring

Unless I write things down, I won't remember. There is only a slim chance that writing it down will help, but it's at least done.

Needless to say, this isn't one of my agonize-over-every-phrase, reach for Deep Meaning posts. It's more me, nagging my way through the garden:

Plant more butternut squash. In fact, plant only butternut squash. I don't like any other one much. Even pumpkins are only okay. I'd rather buy them, or at least grow them out front as neighbor-entertainment, but not for eating.

Make a stronger, more permanent staking arrangement for the asparagus. It's been listing since May, and I'm only waiting for its total die back to make a much, much stronger support.

Four Padron pepper plants is, in fact, the perfect amount. Enough to eat,without getting sick of it, and enough to give a bag a week away. They are such nice peppers!

Two jalapeno plants are actually two too many. I'm going to do one or two more pickling runs, and then it's go…