Category Archives: grows

Garden Shopping Spree

The Southside Community Land Trust plant sale was this weekend.  Knowing how well the plants did last year (some have even happily returned after their winter sleep), I went even crazier this time and loaded up a couple of flats.  Here’s what we found.

Parsley (Giant, flat leaved)
Thai Basil

Yellow Alpine Strawberry
Ground Cherry

Misc Veg:
Mexican Sour Gherkin
Purple Tomatillo
Golden Chard
Ping Tung Eggplant
Red Spinach
Champion Collard

Green Zebra Tomato
Cherry Roma
Sun Gold
Red Pear

Lemon Drop Pepper
Serrano Chile
Black Czech Pepper
Volcano Hot Pepper
Bulgarian Pepper
Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper

Here’s how the garden looked in March, April and May. I’ve only planted a few of my new purchases so far – it’s such a cold, grey day and I’m having a hard time leaving the house.

Garden 05.09

Things to Look Forward To

I have a lot to say about all the great food I ate over the holidays. But I also have a lot to look forward to in the beginning of 2009, and I can’t help sharing.

1. Night of the Barrels @ Extreme Beer Fest (via Beer Advocate) – I bought my boyfriend and I tickets to this as a Christmas present.  I’m happy about my timing, they’re sold out already! 50+ wood-aged beers will be there for the tasting.

2. A 3-session sewing class. I know the basics but would love learn some tricks, and how to care for my machine.

3. A 2-session Veggie gardening planning class – I can’t wait to get a jumpstart on the garden.

4. Making ice cream – Jeremy got me an ice cream maker for Christmas, and I made key lime pie sherbert last night. Maybe this year I will have that ice cream social I threatened to have last year.

5. A winter weekend – last year we went to Maine in February and it was cold, but great. This year I would love to see some maple sugaring.

6. A spring getaway – somewhere warm but not too far away.

7. Using my restaurant gift certificates – I just got $230 in restaurant gift certificates for $25, thanks to a deal through Borders Perks &  We’ve been trying to stay on budget and cook at home, so this should give us an excuse to venture out more often.

8. Putting local events on my calendar -There’s always so much going on, and we all need an excuse to leave the house in the winter.

9. Watching Netflix on demand – I hook my laptop to the TV with an HDMI cable, and have 12,000 movies at my fingertips.  I find this much more worthwhile than a cable subscription.

10. Knitting during lunch – my coworkers have a 1x a week knitting group.  Maybe I’ll attempt my first sweater?

11. Walking to work – this will be so great once it’s not a skating rink out there. Yesterday, I took the bus. Yuck.

12. Cast iron – my parents gave us a griddle and large cast iron skillet.  Time to cook up that thick bacon that’s been waiting patiently in the freezer!

Grow Your Own

One of the only amenities missing from my condo is outdoor space. Providence’s ban on overnight street parking has forced my building, as well as everywhere else I’ve lived, to pave over what once was a backyard.

In early spring, when the first hints of green started poking through the soil, I was getting itchy fingers. I looked into community gardens and was excited to discover one hidden just a block away! The first harvest happened even before I started planting: while weeding my plot, I discovered it was full of delicious arugula and chives and cooked up an outstanding pasta with blue cheese. The plot also has a peach tree and mint, cilantro and oregano plants.

Garden progress
Garden progress: from weeding to planting

We got a head start thanks to the Southside Community Land Trust‘s annual plant sale. If you live in the area and haven’t been, put it on your calendar for next year. It’s a great organization and they have some unusual and exciting plants. I picked up four varieties of tomato (red pear, sun gold, pink brandwine, and prudence purple – which really are purple), some herbs (sacred basil, purple opal basil, tarragon and epazote), alpine strawberries, and sweet peas.

A trip to the library was also fruitful. I’ve been reading Cultivating the Cook’s Garden by Theodore James, Jr. and Modern Vegetable Gardening by Christopher Bird. The former focuses on growing and cooking specific plants, with good advice about varieties. The author has a real enthusiasm for both gardening and eating, so it’s a fun read. The latter book is great for general gardening information and lots time- and money-saving tips.

I’m not an expert gardener: my experience consists of container gardening in apartments and helping my mother in the garden as a child. Jeremy hasn’t gardened a lot either, but garnered some great intuition while growing up in the midst of farmland. I’m sure we’ll make mistakes here and there, but hopefully we’ll end up with something delicious and fresh on the dinner table.