Saturday, May 29, 2010

happy summer!

this isn't off the farm (except for the arugula on top), but it's what makes me happy about summer, so i'm posting it.  plus not too long from now, i'll be able to make it without leaving the house.  1 amazing tomato + 1 drizzle of fancy organic chilean olive oil that came in a schwag bag from a fancy foodie festival your friend kendra snuck you into + a few twists on the pepper grinder + salt.  happy.  best eaten with a knork (also from the schwag bag).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

because one is the loneliest number

my second earth box arrived last weekend!!  i had been planning on inheriting two, but it turned out that julia had enough room on her new balcony to keep one of her boxes after all.  so, after toying with the idea of just getting some pots for the tomato babies (and then discarding that idea, given the success of the box plants), i ordered a second one off amazon.  but soon after doing that, i also went to tomato class at a local gardening center, where i learned that my julia child heirlooms were going to be far too big to live in the box.  so, off i went, once again, to the sunday market to see what would make a good addition to the farm.  and i came home with........tomatoes.  yeah, i dunno.  it made sense at the time.

so here they are, a jaune flamme on the left, and a momotaro on the right.  i also planted the arugula, who tried to commit suicide a couple of days ago and took the entire herb garden with it.  some of it was salvageable, but i wasn't about to replant the chives strand by strand, so while i was picking up tomato seedlings at the market (for totally obvious reasons), i also replenished the herb garden.  i'm now rocking chives and garlic chives (i blame my grandma but i think they go in EVERYTHING), parsley, basil, thyme, and oregano.  ready to get some grillin' (and caprese-in') done.  as for the arugula, it's looking pretty sad, but maybe some earth box magic can restore its will to live.

Monday, May 24, 2010

fruits of my labor, pt II

i continue to watch in amazement as production of "things that look just like at the grocery store" progresses.  the grown-up part of me of course knows that things you get at the grocery store had to grow somewhere at some time, but the kid part of me is beyond thrilled that the ones i'm responsible for look just right, just like the stuff deemed fit for public consumption, just like they have for centuries.  the perfect little genetic programming is producing perfect little creatures (or whatever the plant equivalent of creatures is).  as cynical and jaded as i can be most of the time, i really am observing this daily progress with a childish sense of wonder and joy.  here's hoping the taste matches when harvest time comes around.

first mature sweet charlie.  i gave it to julia, whose earth box gift started it all.

 first gypsy sweet pepper.  it's progressing kind of slowly, but maybe making peppers is hard.

squash blossom!

first cucumbers, with pretty blossoms.  also look at how much the cuc has grown in 3 weeks!  out of control.

Friday, May 14, 2010

fruits of my labor

and so it begins!!!  look at 'em go.  there is such joy in (sort-of) having created something.  i say sort-of because obviously it's seeds and sun and soil and water and i didn't actually *do* much, but come on!  that little fruit/vegetable wouldn't exist if i hadn't given it a home and made it so.  plus there is a sense of calm in knowing "everything is going according to plan."  i can be a crazy neurotic stressed out cat lady with 14 deadlines i'm unsure of meeting, yet a strawberry plant will make strawberries.  also did you know the strawberry flower *becomes* the fruit?  i didn't.

oh also, the last picture is of the patty pan squash i decided to get instead of a blueberry.  the blueberry looked kind of big, while this one looked a little more manageable at about 6 inches tall.  yeah, you know the thing about plants?  they grow.  in the 2 or so weeks since planting it, it has blown UP!  pretty amazing to watch.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

getting away with murder

a treacherous assault on tomato baby #3. 
the tomato instructions said that after developing a few sets of leaves, the babies should start going outside a couple of hours each day to get used to the elements.  a few days ago, i had to work late, and asked josh to bring them back in before dark.  when i got home that night, i found a fallen baby.  much like the late #2, #3 had become unable to stand on its own, toppling under its own weight and snapping in the process.  i was ready to give up, take the hint, accept my consistent pattern of collapsing plants rather than growing them.  but the next day, josh admitted that what i had found was the result of some rough handling on his part.  so, after some rough handling of josh on my part, i went to check on the baby, and miraculously-- it had raised its head toward the grow light again!  i guess it didn't snap all the way, so there is hope.  i have re-planted it much deeper in its container, so it's back to standing up and going strong.  fingers crossed.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

boxed up

i spent much of this afternoon playing in the dirt.  it was a very cathartic experience, and one i needed badly.  a girl can only "compete intellectually" and have the adequacy of her intelligence questioned so many times before she just wants to lug bags of soil and get dirt under her fingernails and create something that has a tangible outcome.  or better yet, an edible one.  so that's exactly what i did.  lookit how cute!  the strawberries are on the far left, the pepper in the middle, and the cucumbers on the far right.  i wound up putting the arugula in the herb garden, since there has been an empty patch ever since i killed the purple basil (not enough sun maybe?  who knows.)  but i'm already starting to regret that decision, i think it's going to get too big.  anyway, now i have an open spot in front of the pepper.  i'm thinking about a blueberry, but maybe i'll just see what strikes my fancy when i go to the market tomorrow.