Monday, September 27, 2010

Portrait of a Fruitful Afternoon


Two bushels of tomatoes plus three friends and five hours equals a lot of really good sauce.

The tomatoes:

The process:

One tenth of the result:

Okay, so in reality those lovely roasting tomatoes went into freezer bags, but freezer bags aren't as photogenic as Ball jars.  The sauce was straight up tomatoes, bay leaf, and a sprinkle of oregano.  We made some canned whole tomatoes, too, but those are most definitely not photogenic, as the tomatoes tend to float up and leave the nether regions naked.  Too indecent for a family blog.

The tomatoes came from the farm where we get our CSA, Gorman Farm, and they were just beautiful and tasty.  I think I will give up on growing my own tomatoes next year, because I get blight so badly, and because my CSA really does supply most of my tomato needs.  But how can I not grow tomatoes?  A garden without tomatoes is like a...harumph.  There is no parallel.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Purple Haze

Purple hyacinth beans are my garden's little freebie to me, a September gift that always arrives despite my yearly fears that this year the beans will fail.  I planted them the first year or two, six or seven years ago now, and since then the steady rain of dried beans that falls from the porch where they grow onto a pretty vagrant piece of land below has resulted in this bit of garden grace. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Of Figs and Fantasy

I've always wanted a walled garden, with high brick walls covered with espalier apples and beds edged in rosemary in which I could walk gravel paths, basket on arm, harvesting figs and roses.   Instead, I have a suburban lot fenced with chain link with unruly fruit trees and rosemary that rarely survives the winter.  I do have my own sweet version of that fantasy, though, with a Brown Turkey fig tree that screens the neighboring house while bearing prolifically and a pergola over the front porch hung with New Dawn roses.  Reality is messier than fantasy - but at least you can eat it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Zucchino Rampicante On A Bench

What do gardeners do in the winter?

It is September, the leaves on the fig tree are yellowing, and I've pulled the squash vines running rampant through the strawberry patch.  What do a garderner's thoughts turn to in the fall?  Reading about gardening, of course, and taking stock of the growing year gone by. Rather than using my trusty black and white marble cover notebook this year, I am going to try to overcome my troglodyte nature and write on line, instead.  Using a blog has one distinct advantage I can think of: photos.  I am too lazy to take photos, upload them to a photo sharing site, then order the prints and put them in my garden book.  It just doesn't get done.  So I will try doing what comes easiest - snapping a photo with my blackberry and emailing it to myself, then posting it when I have time.  Hopefully it will help me remember that the combination of phlox, iris, and Chinese red noodle beans was surprisingly beautiful, but that there was nothing but weeds in the patch where I thought the blueberry bush would thrive.  Hopefully, it will help me make fewer of the same mistakes over and over again.  The problem, I understand, is that the mistakes are the most fun, and so I'm likely to make them again next year, beauty be damned.