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making a bastard cassoulet today:


huge basket of grapes harvested on friday, as i was hacking back the grape vines where they staged a coup on the lawn this summer. this represents maybe half of what i could have picked.


here is a box of green tomatoes i'm putting in a cold room so that they will slowly ripen up. the visible tomatoes are on top of a whole other more densely-packed layer. if they don't ripen i'm planning to make a green tomato + apple mincemeat.
aslant: (Default)
it was 104° here yesterday, and will be again today, so this morning i went out to check the garden and turn on the soaker hoses. all week i've been eyeing the first cherry tomato on my sweet millions plant. it was the first tomato to fruit in the whole garden, and had been slowly turning orange.

well, this morning it was finally bright red, so i picked it. it was a sweet and tasty mouthful, and well worth the wait.

i can't wait until the other varieties start to ripen. yum.
aslant: (Default)
last night i planted cucumbers, beans, zucchini, dill, beets, butternut squash, pumpkin, and watermelon. i also added some dirt to the potatoes, to make them grow higher, and i planned out where the tomatoes will go (and just now remembered -- where will the eggplants go?).

(if even one-tenth of these is viable, holy cow what a summer it will be.)

meanwhile, the peas are already producing, and we have thyme, oregano, chives, leeks, rhubarb and strawberries growing like crazy, and grapes on the way.

i tracked all my new plantings over at myfolia, which i hadn't visited in a while, and i laughed to see the old photo of the garden. the yard has exploded into so much foliage and flowers that it is hard to keep track of everything now.

an an example, check out the chive plant in april, in the middle of the left bed:



and here is the insanity of chives now:



i need a better comparison to show the craziness going on at the back fence, too. where before there were a few lone lavender and rosemary plants, there are now poppies, irises, foxglove, and about a dozen other annuals i can't identify yet. crazy!
aslant: (Default)
  • huge treasure of leeks in the garden
  • roller derby on friday, a rather sloppy round 1 against norcal and then a more impressive round 2 interleague bout (too hot to stay for rounds 3 & 4)
  • trying to make my own vinaigrette
  • pulling endless weeds from the back planting beds, and finding what may be a massive stand of asparagus (too late to be cut for this season)
  • first farmer's market trip of the season, and going early to get the last dozen farm eggs
  • yoga (cheap) and hula dancing (free!) lessons at work
aslant: (Default)
i might be taking a class this spring to become a certified family food educator!

i would learn all about canning and preserving fruits and veggies, safety and storage information. i think i also have to create a big poster board thing with information on it, and at the end i would volunteer 30 hours of service at farmers markets, sitting next to my poster and giving info to people who are interested in canning.

it might not happen unless they can find enough people to attend, but it's still exciting. i can read from books but it's not as good as learning all the techniques in a class, and working with foods i wouldn't normally think to use. and it will fit nicely with my vegetable garden plans.

there are snowdrops all over the lawns here and an unbearable current of springiness just under the surface. oh little spring plans. sprout, sprout up please.

.

tomorrow night kirk and i are going to see a programme of french ballet pieces, including ravel's bolero, at the oregon ballet theatre. kirk got us free center orchestra seats at work, because he is a rockstar like that.

tomorrow i want to buy some tiny binoculars to take with us, maybe cheap toy ones, or maybe i'll look in a few antique stores for collapsible opera glasses. i'm excited!
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yesterday i finally put the birdfeeder up in the backyard, and this morning it attracted little chickadees and a giant bluejay. pippa watched them from the kitchen window and made those funny little i-want-to-eat-you cat noises.

i put up the birdfeeder because i found it while cleaning off the shelf in the laundry room where i want to put my seedling tray. i have to keep it warm somehow, but there's no heat in that room. i wish my heating pad didn't have that stupid auto-off feature. maybe i can just use lamps with incandescent bulbs? almost all of our lamps now have cf bulbs in them now. i need to hurry, the stupid onions were supposed to be seeded several weeks ago :/

i think yesterday was actually the first day that the house was fully recovered from me being sick for two weeks this month. even though i've been better for a couple weeks now, the house stayed messy. the whole place needed a good sweeping and dusting and straightening

in addition to cleaning, we also got a new rug, table and lamps from ikea this weekend. the living room is so much more cozy! i am pleased with it.

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today i made an apron from a book on vintage design and patterns of aprons that my mother gave me for christmas. i borrowed katie's sewing machine and managed to dredge up vague memories of using my mother's ancient sewing machine in order to get this one working. it was so satisfying! even if a bit back-breaking. i even hand-stitched on a little detail on the pocket of green tomatoes. if you click on the picture, you can see more photos from the project in my flickr stream.

soon my mom and i will be ordering a boatload of seeds from seed savers and i will be making seedlings of a number of things for both her garden and mine. i haven't grown a seedling since kindergarten, and the last garden i tended was a weedy flowerbed when i was 11, which lasted about three days. but i have high hopes! and a compost heap that is already started, and raised gardening beds that came with the house. i am very excited for experimenting and growing and such!
aslant: (Default)
today in the yard i:
  • raked the leaves off the pathways
  • discovered most of the front yard is actually moss
  • repaired part of the stone wall that had tumbled down
  • clipped back the rhododendron so it doesn't block the walkway
  • removed parts of a vine that are choking a tree in the backyard
  • cut down the sunflowers along the fence where they were rotting
  • took down part of a trellis that had come apart
  • discovered some mystery beans in cranberry-striped pods under the trellis:


Mystery beans from the garden

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