ta da! peonies are out!

Yes, so in the end spring decided to arrive. Abalone Pearl is the first of the peonies to open. So pretty!

Abalone Pearl Peony

Abalone Pearl Peony

It’s been a busy time for us, but we did get the tomatoes in. This year, most will be in the front yard bed where the crazy pumpkins were last year.

Tomato bed, front yard

Tomato bed, front yard

New this year is a resting spot in the garden. I bought this chaise at the end of the season last year, and it’s a nice place to recover! Right next to the rosa rugosa, and the nice strawberry flowers.

Chaise in the "u"--espalier apples surround it.

Chaise in the “u”–espalier apples surround it.

Everyone is working really hard –the goats eating new shoots as fast as they can, and we’re also weeding like crazy trying to get ahead of the game.

Roppongi finding good stuff--outside the garden fence!

Roppongi finding good stuff–outside the garden fence!

Roppongi likes to stick close to the fence while we’re weeding–she really appreciates all the good stuff we throw over at her. 2 foot tall dandelions yum!

It’s a beautiful time of year here and we’re so happy to be back outside!


asparagus time!!!!!!!!
April 20, 2011, 6:50 pm
Filed under: asparagus, farm, food, gardening, it lives!, recipe | Tags: , , ,

What a banner day. After getting treed in, we decided to have asparagus for lunch. It’s been a long haul waiting for these bad boys to mature. I planted 25 crowns in spring 2009. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. And to add insult to injury I read in an extension document that you don’t REALLY have to wait three years. They said go ahead and start eating after two. Bummer. Anyhow we did the full wait. And today we picked them!

with great ceremony the first cut

delicate operation (note nice new gloves!)

ceremonial red asparagus collecting basket

waiting for the boil--lunch!

I simmered them in a bit of water in a fry pan. Then served em up with a drizzle of olive oil a shred of parmesan and some salt and pepper.
Verdict?: Holy cow!! Totally worth it! Amazing. (Perfectly cooked I might add). Delicious!

asparagus row in the potager

As you can see from this bed shot, Mom and Dad there just may be a spear or two for you when you get here!

We should get another dinner or two from the patch but I think we’ll need to grow some more. 25 plants–is it enough for us? Maybe not.

tomatoes–the 2010 season
July 16, 2010, 10:33 pm
Filed under: favorite plants, gardening, it lives! | Tags:

It is a pretty strange thing to wake up at night worrying about tomatoes. I listen for any night-time rain with trepidation and a big sense of foreboding. Isn’t that weird? I break into a sweat and wring my hands nervously. I inspect and re-inspect the rows, looking looking. Is that it? I google images of it to compare. I worry.

But I mean I’m not a farmer. I’m just trying to can some freaking tomatoes! But as I’ve read on other garden blogs–this year is different. We’re just all so FREAKED out about last year. About that will shall not be spoken. The big B word. Well the big L-B word. The heartbreaking story that was 2009. Maybe I should be like others and not speak of it, not whisper about it, just sit tight until we have some red ones and can breathe again. I am a bit superstitious here, but I’m feeling a tad hopeful. Things look very good out there people!! Lots of fruit. So far so good right. Ugh. I feel scared to be writing about it. I’ll cross my fingers and toes, and any other superstitious thing I can think of.

I am afraid to call out the names of those I cultivate, just in case I am dooming them. Poor things. But this is nuts right? Ok, deep breath.

San Marzano, Green Moldovan, Cour di Bue, Big Beef, Paul Robeson, Japanese Black Trifele, Striped Roman, Pink Grapefruit, Pantano, Sungold.

Good luck out there guys. You’re looking great. Just hang on, and get ripe people!

meyer lemon
April 19, 2010, 9:33 am
Filed under: gardening, it lives! | Tags: ,

Another installation in the “it lives!” series of blog posts. I bought a meyer lemon tree a couple of years ago. It looked good for the first while and then it got scale pretty bad and nearly died. I treated scale with alcohol swabs–very tedious–but then it only had a few leaves left. It recovered a bit, then the scale came back. In frustration I put the dang pot outside and left it to die. Alas, the natural predators out there must have liked the scale because the stupid charlie brown tree lived. So I brought it inside again. It spent the winter, got scale naturally. But this year, I was able to pollinate the flowers and as a result, behold:

look! It's a mini-lemon!

Here’s a picture of the tree in bloom–to give you a sense of the scale of the poor thing. The blooms smelled AMAZING!

tree in bloom in february

We’ll see if the tree is able to bear the weight of the thing when it gets bigger. Seems doubtful!

Sumatra Amaryllis bloomed!
February 21, 2010, 9:30 am
Filed under: gardening, it lives!

Remember back in January–the little potted onion thing? See here.

it lives! it lives!

Anyhow, it finally took off. Check it out. They are some TALL plants. Kind of nutty looking don’t you think?

kind of space age-y!


a green thing has sprouted!
January 8, 2010, 5:52 pm
Filed under: gardening, it lives!

While looking lovingly at:

it lives! it lives!

Me says:┬áIsn’t this such a happy moment? Look it’s green!

Little doode replies: Oh yeah such a happy moment when the ugly onion thing in the rusty bucket turns green. Whatever!

Ah whatever indeed, little doode. And you don’t even know that you’re looking at 15.00 a piece of crappy onion looking things. While my two sumatra amaryllis bulbs languished through the holidays–taunted me with a hint of green and then no sprouts, looked to be rotting for while, were maybe getting a bit smooshy–they appear to be still alive in there. And maybe there’ll be a bloom or two by June!!! Look how fantastic they are…

Can’t wait to see them! Hope they hang in there.