Tuesday, May 20, 2008

growing my dinner

We're having our first meal of swiss chard from the garden tonight! We already thinned the onions and eaten them, plus using a couple mid sized ones last night when I found there were none in the pantry, and we've supplemented farmer's market lettuce one night too. Although there are many blooms, there is only one snow pea that I've found so far - I forgot how much I disliked veggies that camouflage themselves. At least six green tomatoes are growing already, making me wonder if we'll get a really early crop. That'd be great since we usually get cherry tomatoes until after Halloween. The more, the merrier. Most of my parsely is bolting, but there is a bit that is a year younger, so I'm letting it self seed for next winter. Parsely is really a winter crop down here anyway. I've got lots of my other herbs though: sage, marjoram, oregano, chives, rosemary and maybe garlic. (I can't remember if I planted it, but it looks more like garlic than mature chives, so it probably is.) Cilantro is like parsely, so it may or may not make it through this summer's heat. I've got two types of basil planted- sweet and purple. We all love pesto, so I'll make lots and freeze it in ice cube trays again. I love the idea of serving the kids purple pasta!

Pook isn't impressed by the garden but Bug can't wait to eat our foods. He's practically a vegetarian, only we don't cook vegetarian meals. He dislikes meats unless they're highly processed - he likes sausage, pepperoni, salami, hot dogs, ham,... (you know, healthy meats) Pook started to like tomatoes after I grew Sweet 100's one summer. Maybe he'll go for something new after getting to pick it himself. And I'm happy to give away that prize; the mosquitoes are now out.

Atlanta has these horrible, monstrosities called Tiger Mosquitoes. They're big (1/4 inch long?) have striped bodies, and the worst of it is, they're out all day. Pook is immune to any bites. They may drink his blood and leave the possibility of lime disease, but no mark is visible and there's no itch. Bug, on the other hand, is a magnet like his mama. He scratches till he bleeds, although there are so many scrapes and bruises on those little legs that one can hardly tell.

He and I perused the front yard, looking at new blooms. The initial spring flush is gone, and even phase two, the iris, are finished. But my daylillies have lots of buds and my roses are covered with blooms. Last fall I transplanted one I found in my side yard- a scrawny thing with no blooms. It has done well in the new location, but the purple color clashes badly with the others, so it'll have to pack up for another move next winter. I love the idea of having a twelve month garden down here; it is possible to have something in bloom at all times, even without annuals. I should put in some snapdragons to bloom next winter; pansies bloom in the winter and can even take snow, but I really don't want to be stuck watering anything in this drought. (The one that has given us rain about once a week since January.)


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