Tag Archive: edible container gardening

Furlough Week Two — Sutras

First too hot, now cool.

It wasn’t until the weather cooled and the reality of a second week of work not being done that needs to be done to meet deadlines that the impulse arose to make the first batch of homemade granola of the season.  This batch could be called maple nut granola with raisins.

Harvested last of the sweet banana peppers and a fire engine red cayenne pepper.  Also picked as a baby one last eggplant before pulling the plant to make way for tat soi.

Most of the tomatoes I found on the ground still unripe.  With a generous portion of red wine and nice herbs, and the traditional way of cooking them for hours and then running through a food mill, and then reducing until reaching the desired thickness, it won’t matter that the tomatoes ripened on the counter.

Assorted apples from the farmer’s market.  Dried fruit is different when it goes into the dehydrator within a couple of days of having been picked and early in the season when the apples are best.  An upside of being required to stay around home is that I have been able to experiment with the dehydrator that was a most generous birthday gift.

There’s a bunch of difficult stuff going on, but there is no need to write about it anywhere except possibly in my journal, for much of it.  And as for the shutdown and its impact on real people around the globe (and all that interconnectedness stuff), I prefer today to write about granola and stuff from the garden.

Anyway, I’m thinking I would just be preaching to the choir if I wrote another blog post about the importance of trying to keep up and understand as much as possible, speaking with others to shape your understanding and your voice, being in contact with your elected officials and signing petitions, and reaching out to friends and family open to such discussions to invite them to be engaged.

It is times like these when I think of Patanjali’s sutra:  heyam duhkham anagatam (the pain that has yet to come can be avoided.)  I have contemplated this sutra much over a long period.  It is a good one for when I am reaching into the yoga teachings for insight into how I might respond more optimally under the circumstances at hand, especially that which is entirely out of my control.

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The Goddess(es) and the Green Tomatoes

When someone tells me I need to see the Divine I can get anxious that they mean I’m supposed to see whatever that person thinks is “the Divine.”  I don’t think anyone ever should be required to do so by anybody else.  I am, however, all for being reminded to see the divine if such exhortation is to look on whatever I encounter with the most gratitude and compassion and wonder I can muster.

Here:  two kinds of tomatoes with two versions of the goddess (Tara and Uma (a/k/a Parvati)).   I had only a large tomato or two per week throughout the summer; with the equinox passing, the vines are for some inexplicable reason now abundant.  I will either be making a good sauce in October or pickling green tomatoes, depending on how soon we get a frost.  Or perhaps both.

the goddess and the tomatoes too the goddess and the tomatoes


State of the Garden

I went out into the garden right after I sat for meditation this morning.  Even at 7 a.m., the air was hot summer thick.  I harvested cherry tomatoes, a handful of green beans, a cucumber, a red onion, and some garlic greens, basil, and a jalapeno pepper.  Then I went back inside and practiced some asana and cleaned house in anticipation of a guest arriving for lunch.  I weeded a little, but did not fully plunge into all that could be done.

I have lots of  epazote.  Anybody need some for planting or for cooking?  I let only a little go to seed  many years ago, and it comes back in force every year.  I let it grow wild between the bricks of my patio, but keep it out of beds and containers.  It could be a real challenge in a more open garden, but in my constricted, urban setting, inviting the useful, invasive plants to grow where nothing else will grow is a  good use of  space.

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State of the Garden


The white flowers growing with the tomatoes and cucumbers (cages) and the beans (red supports) are coriander that over-wintered, and gave lots of good leaves from late winter through mid-spring. I’m now letting them go to flower and then seed. I like to use the flowers as a garnish. Still green and newly forming coriander seeds minced, along with whatever greens are still tender on the plant, are delicious in lightly cooked young vegetables. Almost flowery, like some Persian cooking. The fig in the right foreground, alas, has no buds this year. It wants to be planted in the ground on a sunny side of someone’s house. Local readers, if you want a healthy fig tree, comment or send an email.


This Evening on the Catio

The snow pea shoots were
Especially exquisite.
And the kale flowers.

Hydroponic tomato from one of the farmers at the Penn Quarter Thursday market and organic avocado, tossed in tahini and then sprinkled with fine balsamic vinager, supplement sprouts grown on the counter and an assortment of tender garden greens.

Cool infusion of peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, and licorice mint.

The season has turned.

Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.


Mostly Anticipation (State of the Garden)

It changes daily this time of year.  In the sink, the last of the spinach that over-wintered.  Making way for new plantings.  A garden can only be this full at the beginning, if there is a commitment to thin constantly; otherwise the garden would suffocate itself.   This kind of gardening plans on picking shoots and baby vegetables, while things that need to mature progress.  A constant harvest, though because of the limited space, I need to supplement–mostly from local farmers’ markets for produce.

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State of the Garden (And Anecdotal Evidence of Extreme Weather Occurrences Due to Global Climate Change)

Scheduled to arrive some time tomorrow is one of those impossible to forecast until it is happening because how fast the storm travels and a variance in its track of even 50-100 miles north or south, or east or west can make the difference between just a bit of rain, a lot of rain with a little snow, and a little rain with a lot of snow, or perhaps the dreaded wintry mix.  What I would do for the garden would be different for the various scenarios.  The best for continuing to thrive would be a 2-4 inches of snow that didn’t entirely melt when it hits 50F on Saturday and acts as a blanket when it is forecast to get below 20F.  I harvested the tenderest of the greens and the last handfuls of unripe tomatoes (they need to be cooked and spiced–it’s way past the date they should have been able to grow).  I left the hardier greens and the root vegetables.  I will be watching for the true hard freeze right before which I will need to harvest everything.  The extreme weather occurrence is not, however, the coming storm, but the fact that I still have this much growing without a cold frame in the middle of January.

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turnips, arugula, grape tomatoes, chard, snowpea shoots, kale, roses, assorted lettuce, cilantro, carrots [not shown, but also growing:  spinach, green garlic, mint, parsley]


State of the Garden (First Weekend After the Fall Equinox)

I pulled no longer productive summer plants and planted lettuce, spinach, chard, and arugula. The birds have been eating my seeds, so I got seedlings at Eastern Market yesterday morning.  I have planted some more seeds, but wanted back up.  The grape tomato is still prolific, alone among the tomatoes.  The cucumbers are completely past, making room for chard and turnips.  It is time to make the last batches of pesto with the basil and parsley.  Another blossom has come and not quite gone on the night-blooming cereus.