Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Garden in the End of August 2006

My garden is in its prime. The tomatoes are coming on, I have heirlooms and cherries, and salad reds and Lemon Boy yellows. It is the time for fresh tomato salad with either red wine or balsamic vinegar, fresh squeezed lemon, extra virgin olive oil, basil, garlic and celery. Sweet amd Hot peppers are ripening, zucchini get huge overnight. The winter squash, Butternut and Spaghetti squash hang from the fence. Purple black eggplants are fat and ready to roast for babaganouj or slice into steaks for grilling. I have tender tasty Kentucky Wonder pole beans to boil briefly and then dress with a light coating of soysauce, crushed garlic, fresh grated ginger, a little rice wine vinegar and a smidge of sugar and sesame oil. My ten foot sunflowers hang heavy heads full of seeds. I will try to prepare their seeds this year.

It is a time of plenty, of succulent fresh food and zesty flavors. The winter squash will linger, but the fresh basil and tomatoes are for NOW and will not be available after cold sets in. Store bought tomatoes have so little flavor that they just cannot be used for fresh salsa, and tomatoe salad, or tomatoes with fresh mozerella and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and leaves of fresh basil. These flavors are only for now, and September, and into October. Then they will be gone again. I savor them. Abundance and richness in it's season.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


I made dinner for Narrisch and others a week ago Wednesday, we sat out on the patio, ate well, and had wonderful conversation. The yard was full of flowers, giant jade trees, and whole shrubs of rosemary. We went to visit N’s uncle, went to the beach where we watched a sea otter close to shore (Narrisch took a wonderful movie of him), out to sushi and a pastry shop that made me think of Paris. Most of the time was spent at the house of course, packing, unpacking, cleaning, talking of this and that. On Monday, the last day, we went to the aquarium where I took about 50 blurry pictures of jellyfish. They are so graceful and otherworldly and so hard to photograph. I have one or two that were in focus, and they are not interesting. It was a beautiful sunny day. Then I flew away.

The patio where we ate dinner

Narrisch on the beach

A sea otter near shore

A nice way to spend a sunny afternoon...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Detroit Airport

I am back in humid August Ohio after a week of lovely, often gloriously cool weather in Carmel, California. I went there to help Narrisch with the hard job of sorting through things at her mother’s house.

A week ago Tuesday I spent much of the day in airports. One of Northwest’s major hubs is the Detroit airport, and I rather like it. Terminal A is a huge, airy, and unbelievably long hall. A tram runs high on one side transporting people from one end to the other. Moving walks can speed you if you choose to do it by foot. There are many shops and restaurants if you have the time to stroll.

I arrived in terminal B which connects to terminal A through an underground tunnel with a light and music installation that always mesmerizes me. This time it played jazz and the colors mainly shifted through reds and blues, with beats of yellow and green.

Coming up from the tunnel into the center of terminal A, you come to a fountain where water rises in coherent tubular arcs to fall into the center of a smooth round black table. The sheath of water on the table reflects the sky and the heads of great planes. The arcs stop and start, sending hunks of water through the air in an assortment of patterns. Children often cluster around it, fascinated by the forms of the water coming and going

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


The biggest sunflower plant, closeup.

7 August 2006 Garden

My sunflowers this year are the tallest sunflowers I have ever seen. The tallest one hasn't even opened it's flower yet. It amazes me that this represents about 2 months of growth, perhaps a bit more, but still! Photsynthesis works very well indeed. I wonder... are Sunflowers a C4 plant? Or an ordinary C3? Hmmm a casual Googling did not answer that question. That growth rate smacks of C4, but it is native to North America, which most commonly produces C3 plants...

I am off to see Narrisch. My garden will mostly have to fend for itself, and tomatoes are ripening, and the basil is huge and bushy and starting to flower. It should be cut back. The first bean flowers are turning white, and the plants are finally climbing fast. I may come back to my first beans of the year.

I am pleased with it, one of the few joys of summer. (I am not a summer person)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Garden August 1, 2006

It has been hot and humid. The heat index is 105 (41 C). However, the sun and rain have helped the plants recover from the hailstorm a few weeks ago. My tomatoes are growing tall and the first few tomatoes are ripe. My sunflowers are huge. The zucchini are producing nicely and the winter squash are starting to flower. I have hot peppers and more hot peppers, some ready to pick already. The lettuce wants to bolt, it is time to plant the next batch. My beans are clambering up their poles, and my basil is lush. It has rained so much that I have only had to set up the sprinkler once or twice all summer.

Of course the weeds grow at as fast of a pace. I spent a good chunk of yesterday pulling thistles, then edging the veggie beds with my weed whacker, then mowing that area, back of the back. I came in periodically to cool down a bit, then stopped when it started to pour. Of course much work needs to be done in the front. In a great growing summer I could be a full time gardener, and barely keep up.

So, here it is, “Growth”