Thursday, July 19, 2007

It's a Miracle

After many batches of guacamole, too many toothpicks, and an abundance of stained plastic cups, Matt and I have succeeded in hatching our very own avocado plant. Maybe I shouldn't speak too soon. I don't want to jinx it.

It's pushing through the ground. Yes, Matt did prematurely dig it up a little, but now it is legitimately sprouting on its own. Hooray!

[I'm ignoring the fact that avocados don't grow well in Colorado]

Share |

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Get your mind out of the manure. That's P for Plant. My colleague, Sara Hill, brought me freshly picked vegetables from her garden today. Three tomatoes and a yellow squash. Why didn't Mel (of All New Square Foot Gardening Fame) mention that gardens grow very slowly?

Impatiently yours,


Share |

Friday, July 13, 2007

Carrot Genocide

Aw shucks.

Remember how excited I was about purging the extra seedlings? I loved that feeling of plucking and trimming. It felt so nice to get it done while the plants were young. It was easy to see what I was doing, since nothing is very bushy yet.

Well, it turns out that Mel (of All New Square-Foot Gardening Fame) was right. I should've snipped the extra seedlings' stems with scissors. He warned that the roots might be entangled.

Shucks. I should've trusted him. I killed a lot of carrots. One more point for Mel.

Share |

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Aloof Carrots


You know the feeling you get when you clean out your closet? Like really purge it?

That's what it feels like to thin and weed 66-square feet of garden.

[insert blissful sigh]

I wonder if I should really call it "thinning and weeding." The square-foot method of gardening (a la Mel Bartholomew fame) is all about minimizing the thinning and weeding. It's gardening for dummies. It's gardening for lazy dummies.

Of course I'm not really all that lazy, but I am a little skeptical about this whole "plant it and they will sprout" thing. That's why I planted 10-12 seeds in every hole, as opposed to the 2-3 that Mel recommended. He said 2-3 was enough to ensure at least one sprout per hole.

It turns out he is a wise, old sage.

It's a little late to admit his brilliance. Now I have a veritable bush growing from each little hole. Mel recommends cutting the extra sprout with scissors (note the singular use of the word sprout, since I'm not supposed to have 9-11 extra in every hole). I started to do this (especially since I'm really trying to learn to follow his advice). However, the scissoring felt tedious and slow. I finally resorted to plucking the extra sprouts, like in-grown hairs. How satisfying!

It feels so good to have one sprout per hole. Remember, with the square-foot method, I strategically spaced the holes out, according to the recommended thinning distance. That way, I won't have to ever thin, assuming I only let one sprout grow per hole.

The whole experience reminded me of working on an organic farm in Ecuador (run by a white American). I told him he needed to thin his carrots. He insisted that it was fine for them to touch and that they would simply grow out to the sides. He wondered why his carrots were so malformed and stunted.

Then one day he asked me to pick some carrots for the lunch salad. I asked whether he wanted me to pick the worst ones, so we could save the best ones for market. He granted me permission to find the best ones.

I made my way to the only patch of garden that actually allotted enough space for the carrots to grow in their preferred state of aloofness. Of course they were long and thick. He regretted giving me permission to find the best ones.

I think maybe now he thins those carrots.

Share |

From the Dirt to the Table

Ah. To pick something from the garden and eat it. Indescribable.

Let me include a recipe instead:

Tomato (these aren't ready yet), Basil, and Mozzarella Sandwiches

  • Bread from a bakery (The best bread you can get your hands on! Seriously, the bread makes this meal. The Whole Foods on Kirby in Houston has a wonderful bread--kind of hidden in the deli section--ciabatta soaked in olive oil and sprinkled with dried rosemary. At the very least, please make sure the bread doesn't have high fructose corn-syrup, okay?)
  • Basil (preferably out of the garden)
  • Tomatoes (also, preferably out of the garden)
  • Real mozzarella (the balls that come in a plastic tub and soaks in water)
  • Salt

Directions: (I promise this is a very quick meal)
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350-ish
  2. Cut the bread so it's ready to be a sandwich
  3. Put the sandwich pieces face-down on a cookie sheet and put in the oven while you work on the other stuff
  4. Slice the tomatoes and the mozzarella balls
  5. Chop the basil into small pieces (you want enough basil to have one small piece with each bite)
  6. Assemble the sandwich by putting the mozzarella on first
  7. Salt the mozzarella (really, it has very little taste; this is a helpful step!)
  8. Add the tomatoes and basil
  9. Serve immediately!
P.S. If you have extra bread left over, fill a small dish with extra-virgin olive oil. Add salt and dry rosemary. Dip away!

Share |

Related Posts with Thumbnails