Monday, June 23, 2008

So I haven't actually gotten around to mulching...

Well, so only a little mulching has happened, even though I said that would be my next update.

There has, however, been some theft. It's ok, though, because I was doing the thieving; It wasn't really that serious. In one of the weeded-over sections of the garden some mint has gone crazy, crazy. So I took a whole bunch of it after I got done planting a few more herbs and pulling some greens and the last of the peas.

Then I looked up recipes for mint (other than the recipes involving rum, which I already knew). I found many things, most of which sounded weird/unappealing. In the end, I settled on a mint granita recipe from, and it was really awesome.

Here it is, for those of you who won't click a link:

2 cups water
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves 1/2 cup sugar 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Garnish: fresh mint leaves

Bring water, mint, and sugar to a boil in a 1- to 2-quart saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 3 minutes. Add lemon juice and pour through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing hard on solids and discarding them, then cool.

Freeze mixture in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart shallow nonreactive metal container, stirring and crushing lumps with a fork every 30 minutes, until evenly frozen, 2 to 3 hours. Scrape with a fork to lighten texture, crushing any lumps. Spoon into glasses or bowls.

I recommend it.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I know, I know

It's been forever; It's true.

I have a boatload of excuses, of course. There was the dispiriting uncertainty about whether I'd get my plot back. Then there was the assurance that I would have it. Then I planted some things and some other gardener who didn't want to double dig requested that the WHOLE PLACE (including my obviously double-dug and partly planted plot) be roto-tilled. Then that whole plant then have it roto-tilled adventure happened again.

But all of this was weeks ago. In the ensuing weeks, I have planted some herbs, some squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and beans and a section for lettuces, greens, spring onions and root vegetables. Some of the snap peas that I planted right up close to the edge (in the hopes that they'd out-compete the mint) escaped the double roto-till and produced for a few weeks as well. I've also gotten a bumper crop of mustard greens (figures -- Alli hates them). I used a few of them in this mustard greens and fontina cheese fritatta yesterday, which she managed to choke down (the addition of eggs, cheese and garlic-y things will fix nearly any food).

We've also gotten some Easter-egg radishes, which are cute and pastel. We like to food process them in with equal parts butter and spread it on French bread. That's tasty; try it. They came up really fast! In fact, with the intermittent rainstorms, everything has been shooting up. Particularly the weeds. Effin' weeds.

Over the winter I had a rather short lived worm farm, (did I mention that?). And while I managed to commit worm genocide after a couple of months, they did make a nice amount of worm castings, which I have used as an early fertilizer for some of my more nutrient-hungry plants. Someday I'll re-start that worm operation, but it was just so sad. I left for a weekend thinking they were fed and taken care of for a couple of days (I mean, they're worms, not a puppy) and came home and they had all fled their habitat: Into the dry, inhospitable cardboard box around it. This is the equivalent of thinking that it's a little warm on the beach and so you walk headfirst into the ocean and drown yourself. Again, though, they're worms, and therefor not known for their enlightened self interest.

I'll get back on posting, and return with some photos shortly. I promise to keep you all apprised of any particularly creative/stupid decisions I decide to make. We are also receiving a weekly CSA share (mentioned previously) now, and I'll let you know of interesting things we get from that. For starters, there were garlic scapes. So far we have both cooked them like green beans then served them with a lemon-vinaigrette, and blended them into a dip with white beans which ends up pea-colored. Hannah suggests using them in soups and with potatoes.

I will update you guys when I finally mulch.