Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A change of pace

I'm still pretty freaked out by Scott McClellan's revelation last Friday that Fox "News" was taking talking points directly from the White House and passing them off as "news." I know, I know--why should I be surprised? But I am--to think that Rupert Murdoch and his staff of talking heads (they're not reporters, not journalists--none of them) should have so much power, and serve so corrupt a master, is just mindboggling to me. It's basically a state-run media outlet, without the pesky Congressional oversight (such as it is).

Anyway--like I said, I'm pretty freaked out by politics lately, so I thought I'd give you a change of pace: an update on my vegetable garden. Disappointed? If you are, don't worry--I'll find something new to piss me off tomorrow and get back to the shit-tank we call American politics. Meanwhile, I haven't taken any pictures of my garden, so you'll just have to close your eyes and use your imaginations, boys and girls!

So--my garden! It's one of the things that gives me pleasure in this crazy world. Here's the veggie-by-veggie breakdown:

Black-seeded Simpson Green Leaf Lettuce and Arugula: These guys came and went early and quickly. We had good salad lettuce for about a month and a half; it's now bitter and too far gone. The arugula was always a little too strong, and even then it only took about two weeks to get too bitter to eat. Lesson learned on that one, a first-time veggie for me. My new theory: plant only a few seeds, harvest them very early when the leaves are small. Then when those are done, do another small batch, and so on. Does anyone know whether this will work? I'll probably do the same with lettuce, only in a bigger batch each time. We luvs our salad at the Marsh House. I pulled all the plants up and composted them, and I'm drying some of the arugula for seeds; maybe I'll try my theory when the seeds are ready!

Cilantro: Man, is there anything better than having cilantro on hand for salsas, quesadillas (I put sprigs of it right on the cheese before I melt it in my 'dilla maker), and guacamole than cilantro you grow yourself? Mine lasted a good month and a half before the plants started to flower and get the little narrow bitter leaves. I pulled everything up, composted most of it, and am drying the rest for seeds. All my plants this year were volunteers from last year, so I figure I can "force" some new volunteers and get more cilantro this season. It's not too late, I tell you!

Green Peppers: small peppers are forming on my small plants, which seems weird. I don't know how the little plants are going to find the strength to get the peppers much bigger than eggs, but we'll see.

Squash: just picked three young and delicious yellow crooknecks on Friday to take camping with us. Lots of flowers, lots of good stuff to come.

Brocolli: this is my first time ever to grow broc. I took three medium-sized heads to camp with us, and they were delicious--if a little strong and kinda cabbage-y on the aftertaste. Now flea beetles are eating the plants. Oh well.

Green beans 'Kentucky Wonder' pole variety: Vining, but no flowers yet. Come on!

Indian Rainbow sweet corn:
Tasseling! Finally! I'm hoping to see some silks soon!

Tomatoes: I got 1 cherry tomato (delicious!) off the vine on Sunday, but I'm still waiting on the rest. I should have literally hundreds ready soon--living up to the 'Sweet 100' variety name. The 'Early Girl' and 'Celebrity' plants are loaded with medium-sized green fruits. Apparently, "early" is a relative term....

Eggplant: Kinda buried in the weeds, these guys got a slow start thanks to an attack by Colorado potato beetles. I would be surprised if these guys do anything. This is another first-timer for me, but I'm still disappointed. Does anyone have tips on growing these from seedlings?

Serrano peppers: These seedlings have grown maybe two inches since I planted them two months ago. WTF. I'm bummed; I wanted to make salsa with all my own ingredients (well, except onions)!

Fruit update!
Raspberries: we've been harvesting about twenty or thirty fruits every couple of days. Total yumminess. They seem to be bearing well and should last another couple of weeks, I hope.
Blackberries: La Bomba personified. They were all vine, no flower this year--despite the fact that it's year 2 for them. WTF?
Pears: Hard as rocks last time I checked, but I'm hopeful that we'll get to eat some of these in a week or two.


Anonymous said...

I see you've been a busy gardener this summer. I just have no time for green thumbing what with the studying and all. Please allow me to enjoy it vicariously through yours. :^)

dguzman said...

Spartacus--enjoy yourself. Too bad you can't taste those sweet tomatoes!

Sorghum Crow said...

You're busy. For eggplants, grow the little ones. Territorial Seeds has a great variety of choices. Eggplants need heat, so don't mulch too heavily around the plants. You want the ground to warm up.

Cilantro freezes well, either as leaves (beats the dry stuff) or as a pesto (oil, cilantro, garlic) to be added to stuff when it cooks.

karenzipdrive said...

I love cooking with hard pears. Just dice them up and boil the hell out of them, then use the fruit in chutneys, salsas, etc.