August 17, 2010

Garden chats, in four parts

My garden is at the bursting point, a phase I missed out on last year when we had to move juuuust as the good stuff was coming in. So, some observations.

I. 'When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds attached to it the rest of the world.' - John Muir

In that moment, there is nothing more marvelous and unbelievable than eating a tomato, fresh from its earthy bed, still sun-warmed. It's good to be reminded that this is where food comes from, not in piles of identical flawless clones in grocery store bins.

II. Aliens

All of a sudden, my garden is their nursery. And the problem is, between seed exchanges and the odd additional plants I bought when I thought my seedlings weren't going to make it, I have no idea exactly what kind of tomatoes these are. Besides killer ones, of course.

The CD serves both as a reference for the size, and to date myself.

And how crazy are THESE?

Same story, with the mysterious grab bag seeds and the limited space and when it came down to it, I had to choose just one single plant. Because squash plants like to basically swallow you whole if you stand still for 10 minutes. So, this was the one I picked, and it spat out these. Google tells me they are "scallop" or "patty pan" squash, which brings to mind Little House on the Prairie for some reason.

III. Lesson: learned.

This is how you know I'm a novice gardener: I hate thinning plants out. I'm told I need to do it, so they can grow to their fullest potential and not be cannibalizing each others' nutrients, but I feel terrible pulling up perfectly healthy, wee baby plants. They didn't do anything wrong! Except decide to get all clingy and share the same square inch of dirt! But I learned. Because if you don't thin, this is what happens.

By the time I pulled out three that were tightly wound together, I got the point. Digging them out was like trying to pry a cork from a bottle with your fingers, they were so crammed together. But I left some behind, so hopefully they are breathing tiny carrot sighs of relief and sprawling out a little.

And how beautiful are they, really? With their full heads of hair. (It is so weird to me that we eat the leaves of some things, the fruit of other things, and the roots of everything else. Who ever looked at a pineapple and thought, 'I bet there's something delicious under there!')

IV. Dinner.

I don't have any pictures of this final part because I was too hungry to wait any more, but: curry + carrots + squash made a lovely soup. It felt a little early to be eating squash soup, something definitely autumn-oriented, but it made me excited for fall and also relieved that the patty-pans weren't going to waste. They did not disappoint.


  1. Oh this is so amazing!!! My heart always beats a little faster when I eat a garden-fresh tomato, still warm and smelling of earth (good thing I have friends with gardens around here). Oh, but I love that you're doing this (and am also so, so jealous). :)

  2. Anna Banana,
    You are a little "country girl" after all. Let's go to The Country Tavern.. The ribs are waiting for you and

  3. Beautiful, beautiful post: rich words, and lovely photos. I love your squashes. Or is that squash, plural? Whatever. And I can totally eat squash soup in the summer.

  4. Heirloom tomatoes!! :) I've never had them before, but a friend of mine grows them in her garden, too. What a fun bunch of unique veggies!

    Love :)