You’d think I would have gotten a lot of gardening done since my last blog post. You’d be right, too. Luckily, there is no direct correlation between my blogging frequency and my gardening. Here’s what I’ve been working on at home these past few weeks.
In the basement, under lights, I have the following:
Green Zebra tomatoes
Cosmonaut Volkov tomatoes
Indigo Rose tomatoes
Amish Paste tomatoes
Sweetie Cherry tomatoes
Toma Verde tomatillo
Corno di Torro sweet peppers
Rosa Bianca eggplant
Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
I started the corn in newspaper pots. I’ve heard that corn seedlings don’t transplant well, so I’m hoping that I can avoid any issues by simply planting the whole newspaper pot.
I also started Siberian Kale, Red Russian Kale, Fordhook Chard, and Champion Collards. I transplanted these last weekend, and now they’re out there under a row cover. About 5 days before I transplanted them, I took the temperature of my soil. It was 50 degrees, so I covered that raised bed with black plastic and 5 days later the temp was nearly 60 degrees.
I also have a flat of onion, Dakota Tears & Siskiyou Sweet Walla Walla. That flat gets moved around a lot, usually shuffling back and forth between the kitchen table and the deck.
The peas that we planted around Saint Patty’s Day are sprouting. They’re not doing so well, though. I think I have either cut worms or very hungry slugs. I’m going to pre-sprout some more peas and replant this weekend.
PS. If you entered the Sun Joe Tiller Giveaway last month, check your email. We’ve selected a potential winner and sent her an email. If this is you, please respond so we can get the prize to you!
I read somewhere a long time ago that if you want to start a new habit, you have to repeat the behavior 12 times before it will likely stick.
Well, I’m not quite there yet. I have only packed my lunch 10 times in a row. But I feel good about it. I am confident that I’ll complete this brown bag challenge and make it to the end of the month. And who knows—I might just continue to brown bag it after that, saving trips to the corporate cafeteria for special occasions and dire emergencies.
Last week, I mentioned that one of the unlooked-for benefits of packing every day was that our fridge didn’t fill up with orphan leftovers and moldy containers of last week’s suppers. But this week, I report on the downside. My wife and daughter would usually eat some of those leftovers for lunch and this challenge has been depriving them of some quick lunches. Hmm…what to do, what to do.
Here’s my Brown Bag wrap up for the week:
Another leftover i-oy: Fusilli with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. In this picture, you get a glimpse of how I sometimes spend my lunch break: reading Paul Krugman in the Times and compiling a list of semi-obscure holiday tunes to record this year for the annual family Christmas record.
A roast beef sandwich with horseradish, cheese, and a tomato from the garden. And a side of organic grapes. This is a leftover sandwich because my wife actually cooked the roast the night before. Local, grass-fed beef. Plus a cookie from Kimberton Whole Foods.
Another excellent chicken soup. With corn, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli and who-knows-what-else. My wife makes good soup.
I swear this was a bowl of tortellini. With a red sauce made from Eden Organic crushed tomatoes, strained tomatoes, & tomato paste, cooked with onions and fresh parsley from the garden. I was so hungry today that I simple forgot to take a picture until it was all gone.
I’m taking part in the Brown-Bag Challenge, a month-long initiative to eat consciously and save money by packing a lunch each weekday instead of eating out. Join us here and share what you’re eating on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #brownbag.
I wish I had the patience and time to sit in my basement and watch my seeds grow. Wow, that sounds incredibly boring. OK, so maybe I’ll wish instead for some time-lapse photography equipment so that I could witness the glory and wonder that I assume surrounds the breaking through the surface of soil by the meek yet powerful tomato seedling.
Like a sunrise or explosion. Or some kind of mathematical miscalculation or a statistical long shot, the tiny seed does it again, bursting onto the scene with the newness and grace of a baby antelope: one moment is birth, the next is running for its life with the herd.
Am I being over-dramatic? Do I attach too much significance to the lowly germination of a seed? I think not. I’m still in awe. And hopefully always will be. Me: the perpetual gardening simpleton.
On a larger scale, I am always humbled and silenced by that slow yet fast springtime creep of green over the hills in the distance. The trees look so soft and furry, mostly green, but sometimes reddish, with little dollops of white, yellow and pink from those flowering trees: the cherries, magnolias, and dogwoods.
Sometimes I wish spring would last all year. But as George Harrison sings, “Sunrise doesn’t last all morning, a cloudburst doesn’t last all day: All things must pass.”
But while I’m wishing…I’d also like to wish for one of those electric cars. Hey Chevrolet, give me a Chevy Volt. Hey Nissan, give me a Leaf. Seriously, I think giving the online editor at OG an electric car would be a smart PR move. My commute to work screams out for an electric car. I would like to expunge gasoline from my life. Think about it.
On my way home the other day, I saw this sign: Beer cheaper than gas. Drink, don’t drive.
Which reminds me, when the slugs start decimating your greens, put out little cups of beer. They’ll get so excited by the prospect of free beer that they’ll forget all about your lettuce or young tender broccoli plants. Learn more about trapping slugs with beer.