Monthly Archives: September 2009

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Hellooooooo out there. How does your garden grow???? Are you there?

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I’m lucky enough to have a French window of two big, inward swinging panels out of which I can look over my vegetable garden every morning. Oddly enough, the garden bed that is catching my eyes these mornings for its beauty is the bed of kale plants.

No, it’s not a bed of colorful, ornamental kale, not even a reddish kale such as Russian Red. I grow just plain old Blue Curled Scotch kale, which is no more bluish than any other kale, or any other member of the whole cabbage family for that matter. What catches my eye each morning is the frilliness of the leaves and how neatly they line up along the stalk. It’s pretty.

My vision could be swayed by the fact that kale is such a healthful vegetable, being especially rich …

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Yesterday, September 2nd, I picked my first fig of the season, a big, fat, juicy, sweet Green Ischia, also known as Verte. For days, I’d been watching it swell in the tree in the greenhouse. Finally, it was drooping from its stem and the skin gave in readily to my touch, so I picked it and took a bite. Delicious.

Figs have unique bearing habits, which is why I am usually able to harvest those first Green Ischias a few weeks earlier than I did this year. Some fig trees, Green Ischia being one of them, bear fruit on both last year’s stems and on new, growing shoots. The previous year’s stems bear the earlier crop, the current shoots bear the later crop. (With some fig varieties, each of these crops looks and tastes different.)

Last winter, a propane glitch let greenhouse temperatures drop well below freezing. A lot …

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Bibi Maizoon just made one of her occasional appearances, each one of which is most welcome. In case you don’t know who Bibi Maizoon is, she is (perhaps was) a member of the royal family of Oman. However, she is not the Bibi Mazoon making occasional appearances in my garden. That Bibi Maizoon is a rose, bred by renowned British rose breeder David Austin.

I consider Bibi Maizoon blooms to be as close to perfection as any rose bloom might ever be. The cup-shaped pink blossoms are filled with loosely defined row upon row pastel pink petals, nothing like the pointed, stiff blossoms of hybrid tea roses. Completing the old-fashioned feel of Bibi Maizoon blossoms is the flowers’ strong, fruity fragrance.

The bush itself is as imperfect as the blossom is perfect. Where to begin? For starters, the thin stems can hardly support …

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My wife commented at dinner the other night that everything we were eating had pretty much the same ingredients. The salad, besides lettuce, parsley, celery, olives, and dressing, had freshly sliced tomatoes, onions (as scallions), and peppers. Skewered and from the grill, were roasted eggplant and, again, tomatoes, onions (bulbs), and peppers. And our home-made focaccio was topped with – you guessed it – tomatoes and onions, in addition to garlic and fresh rosemary.

Not that either of us was complaining; the meal was delicious, and not by some culinary sleight of hand. The good taste came about because most of the meal came from our backyard garden. I had chosen flavorful varieties of each vegetable to grow and they all had been gathered within an hour of their being eaten. In the case of the sweet corn, also part of that dinner and almost every lunch …

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