Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Remembering to be grateful

My days seem to race by, filled with a mix of minutia and must-dos, with little time taken for reflection and prioritizing. Anyone who saw my garden could attest to that!

I try to be really generous in my thoughts and approach -- seeking to keep focus on the long-term things and realize that, yes, the house needs sweeping but if it doesn't get done perfectly or now, it will still be sweepable tomorrow, but the family member wanting attention probably does need it now.

Friends and family far away in the path of the hurricane, or close by in the sights of devastating disease help me keep my mind on bigger things. Our weather is not at all exciting, except in the memory of how a weekend spent bodysurfing under pure California sun has morphed into seasonally-appropriate gray fog, with rain on the way.

A quick run out to the chickens (who aren't Big Picture important, but can't check their own water) and I noticed this beautiful pepper hiding in the pepper bed. Holding its cool, blocky heft, I remembered to be grateful for all the sunshine that concentrated in its sweetness.

When we eat it on salad tonight I will be grateful, indeed.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Harvest Monday, Late October version

Yesterday all of the tomatoes got pulled from the long bed, and today I'll sort the green from the red and haul all the vines away. As always, I have more ideas for next year's tomatoes. Who knows if I'll implement them? They need better and taller staking -- like jumbo cages -- from the very beginning. Maybe I'll hit Denise and Kevin up for more bamboo and use that.

It's Monday again, though, and Daphne hosts Harvest Monday at her blog. Here's my contribution, and as always, it's partial. For example, I did not photograph the green-and-red-filled trug.

The peppers keep pumping out beautiful fruit. Here's the yellow and orange ones from yesterday. They must be roasted and sort of pickled -- on goat cheese over crusty bread, it's just divine. More peppers next year!

The chickens are routinely laying 6-7 eggs a day, and oddly enough, it's not too much. Half the family has eggs for breakfast, and then there's the weekly French toast breakfast. . .

Speaking of eating a lot of food, we are really feeling the price increases in things like milk and chicken. Our food bills are growing right along with the kids! Here's what I got out of a 5 pound bag of whole wheat flour, though:

Fortunately, the freezer means I can bake once a week, or maybe twice, and generally get close enough to the amount needed for toast with those daily eggs! I am going to have to get back to making baguettes, foccacia and ciabatta, though. Buying those is pricey.

What's coming out of your garden or kitchen this week?

Friday, October 5, 2012


 I have very little urge to post gardening content today, so -- dogs! Dogs and kid! Yay, dogs!

Taz doing some Unauthorized Reading. That dog doesn't need any Dangerous Ideas.

Doesn't she look both innocent and worried? "Oh, no, I'm not reading anything. . . what is that creeping up behind me?"

Oh, it's that girl! Hugs hugs huggity hug hug. . .

Unfortunately, Sarafina forgot the "Never only one dog" rule. Taz isn't going to take this hug-stealing lying down, though.

She can be appeased, though. Here she is channeling her inner Pooh with a peanut butter jar left over from a Frisbee tournament. . . . Hunny

Okay, I did pick some hot peppers and one cucumber yesterday. From the left: Persian Baby, Hot Banana, Jalapeno, and Chili Red.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Oct. 1, 2012 Harvest Monday

Daphne hosts Harvest Monday on her blog -- this is mine for today.

A big panful of Sungolds, ready for roasting (and I left lots buried in the foliage), a bit of Padrons for dinner tonight, a handful of late strawberries, four hot Chili Red peppers for the fermenting sauce, a bowl of Roma and San Marzano paste tomatoes -- hello, crockpot!, a single Early Girl, and two Fuji apples, of which there is only one left. Yum. Not pictured was the Kubota red I pulled off the dry vine today.

The garden is slowing down some, but the summer-planted kale looks good, the peas need staking, and the kale and carrot seedlings are doing well. We will eat again!