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April 4, 2010 in garden porn, notfood1 comment

easter, and spring, and budding growing things

forsythia in bloom

Spring has sprung, and flora are stretching, budding, opening for their sun. This is a forsythia’s flower. Forsythia are wild bushes. Lanky as a teenage basketball player, they lengthen and sprawl, and reward our patience with their disorganized antics by bursting into yellow blooms in spring, spring only.

dad about to take the tractor out

It may be Easter, but for some there’s still work to be done before dinner, because tomorrow it might rain.

It might always rain tomorrow. Read more on easter, and spring, and budding growing things…

August 15, 2009 in garden porn6 comments

first tomato of the season

ugly little thing, ain't it?

Hell yeah. Time to inaugurate the “tomato” tag.

I’d go on about heirlooms and brandywines and tell cute little stories involving one of my grandmas, or, if it were of special import requiring massive genetic support, both grandmas. Read more on first tomato of the season…

August 11, 2009 in garden porn4 comments

how does your garden grow? 8-11-09

Warning: massive photo post ahead. Like, 30 photos. All of my garden. Yeah, real exciting.

Inspired by the lovely Diana and her garden porn.

First, let’s try and get an idea of the scope of this garden. It’s roughly triangular.

The whole bigass garden, looking west from the acute angle

Sheesh, it’s so big you can’t pick anything out.

The garden, looking southeast from the right angle

At least now we can pick some stuff out. Looks like some big ass tomatoes.

The garden, looking south-southwest from the middle

Wow. Taking pictures at midday was so not a good idea. But see, we’re getting some perspective. There’s those tomatoes again, with a rogue muskmelon (we think) growing between the first two, oregano, rosemary, and peppers in view.

of cages and flowerpots

Basil and parsley, together at last

Parsley and basil, both nice and gigantic. I should make some pesto, shouldn’t I? The basil keeps sending up flower stalks and I keep having to pinch them off.

I fear the basil is in some sort of willful reproductive battle with me.

See that flowerpot? I used it to cover the basil after it was transplanted, when we got some low-temperature nights in early June. It was once that small.

opalka plum heirloom tomato

Here’s an opalka plum heirloom tomato. I tried these and Amish paste last year, and the opalkas won by a mile. They taste great and they’re pure flesh — nearly no seeds and little juice. They’re great for sauces and supposedly paste too, but I’m not anal enough to make my own tomato paste.

I just might be anal enough to make my own ketchup this year, though. But seriously, if you’re going to try a plum/paste tomato, forget the overrated Amish, get an opalka.

The tomato cages? About five feet high. The tomatoes are kind of short this year due to the cool season we’re having.

aww, those poor beets

beets, carrots, green beans

Don’t laugh at my poor beets. Please. The carrots are nice and fluffy though. Check out the dying peas to the right and their pathetic fence.

weird blight on the beets

Many of the beets are showing this weird blight. I have no idea what it is, but it doesn’t seem to bother them. My gardening philosophy is, if it doesn’t destroy the part I eat, let it slide. However, if you know what it is, let me know!

broccoli gives good head

broccoli and some rogue tomatoes

Ha, the broccoli leaves are getting chewed up too. Wait til you see the chard. But the plants are making damn nice heads. Which is a surprise, since they got chewed down to nubs by baby bunnies right after transplanting. They recovered. Obviously.

To the right you see a few of the 4 brazillion rogue tomatoes that came up. We saved a few because I have a soft spot for plants tenacious enough to come back. Even after I beat them down repeatedly. Read more on how does your garden grow? 8-11-09…

September 5, 2010 in garden porn6 comments

how does your garden grow? labor day edition

this kitten has a new home today :(

It’s Labor Day weekend, and the steamy, blowsy days of August are behind us, we hope. With the heat came fast growth, bringing us tomatoes and melons for the first time in two years. For ages after planting the garden in spring, each new crop was anticipated and loved: Look! Radishes! Kohlrabi! And now baby beets!

the whole chimichanga

Then late July, August hits and everything is ready at once. Cucumbers. Zucchini. Sweet corn. Carrots. Green beans. Eggplant. Swiss chard. Onions. Peppers, sweet and spicy. And tomatoes. So many tomatoes. See those tall plants in the back? Those are the tomatoes.

tomatoland. Like graceland for nightshade

There. A closer look. Yes, they’re six feet tall. Read more on how does your garden grow? labor day edition…

September 8, 2009 in garden porn8 comments

how does your garden grow? oh s*** edition

Previously: How does your garden grow? 8-11-09 edition

What follows is a chronicle of a giant, weed-infested, blight-ridden, cool-summer-stricken garden. It seemed like overnight there were 3-foot weeds in there. And that annoying fungus had killed the cukes and melons near dead.

I guess if the frost holds off til November, we might have tomatoes. That’s a joke, because it usually frosts here by the end of September. Sigh.

parsley, one of the only things in decent shape

Let’s take a tour of the post-apocalyptic mess that is my garden, shall we? What you see above is one of the very few plants that looks normal or, nay, even healthy. Herbs are tough little guys. Including parsley.

the loooong view of the garden, looking west

The long view. Long garden is long. Yes, it’s a triangle. Those tall things in the back? Tomatoes. For reference, those yellow and orange spots in front of them are 3-foot-tall marigolds. Read more on how does your garden grow? oh s*** edition…

April 22, 2011 in garden porn, notfood1 comment

this earth day, stand up for science

wheat after an april rain

Holidays aren’t big on this blog. You won’t see me doing a week of Easter recipes, mainly because I can’t be arsed to make dishes beforehand. However, I’d like to put in a word for today’s secular holiday, Earth Day.

Nearly 20 years ago, I took a biology class. It was an introductory course, so we looked at everything from cellular reproduction to continent-wide habitats. One topic that loomed large was climate change. We saw the papers and the data. Even back then, it was undeniable that since the Industrial Revolution, the amount of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere has been rising exponentially.

For Earth Day, we split into groups to do a presentation project of our own choosing on the environment. No matter what topic the group chose, climate change affected it in some way — one group looked into rainforest destruction, another into the impact of melting polar ice on arctic flora and fauna. Our group looked at the unique lemurs of Madagascar; one part of that was their changing habitat.

That’s why it saddens and frustrates me to see the willful ignorance and often outright lying on the part of climate change deniers. Even 20 years ago, it was clear that something was going on. Read more on this earth day, stand up for science…

May 3, 2010 in garden porn, notfoodno comments yet

time to blossom

pear blossoms

In terms of making new beginnings and forging new paths, New Year’s takes a distant third on my internal clock. New Year’s is the new beginning of the earth’s rotation, marking the end of the year’s shortest day and looking forward to lengthening ones.

New Year’s is a quiet time, as far as heralds go. Party revelry aside, it’s marked by a sunrise a wee minute earlier than the day before, sunset a wee minute later. We are inspired to set plans in motion, but the still-long darknesses encourage long nights under the covers and slow-cooker meals. Read more on time to blossom…

tomatoes for pasta sauce

15 pounds of Opalka Plum tomatoes

I’m making pasta sauce today. Woo! It calls for 45 pounds of tomatoes. Check this out, dudes. It’s nearly 15 pounds of tomatoes. See? 45 pounds isn’t that bad. The recipe, which is from the unfortunately-named Ball Blue Book, claims to make 14 pints or 7 quarts.

Read more on tomatoes for pasta sauce…