Saturday, August 21, 2010

Garden Journal 8/18/10: Tomato Season Has Arrived and the First Harvest is In!

First Tomato Harvest 8-18-10
Yep, that's it. Pretty though, isn't it?

Realization of the Day:
One of the nicest things about gardening is that the littlest surprises can often mean so very much.

A month or so ago, I changed my blog header to a photo that more accurately reflects the season: tomatoes! But ever since then I've felt like a guilty impostor. Oh, those are my tomatoes up there alright—I just picked them back in 2008 (at the end of October!). And while pretty much everyone equates the summer vegetable garden with ripe tomatoes, I don't actually have any growing in my garden this year. Or so I thought.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Garden Journal 8/15/10: How To and, More Importantly, Hot Not To Store Fresh Basil

Basil Bouquet

Realization of the Day:
It's a lot easier to write off a garden disaster as a learning experience when it doesn't involve your entire crop.

The photo above illustrates one of the best ways to store fresh basil: in a fragrant little kitchen tabletop bouquet. Sweet looking, nice smelling, and obviously some very happy fresh cut herbs.

That's how I did things last year, when I had so much green and purple basil growing in the garden it kept bursting into bloom faster than I could use it up. This year I had a learning experience—with my one measly plant, which is why this post isn't called something chirpy like Hip Hip Hooray! It's Pesto Time Again! as was originally intended before the harvest.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Garden Journal 7/27/10: Harvesting Really Late Planted Garlic

Garden Garlic 1
Growing Garlic: Not Bad, Not Bad

Realization of the Day:
I'm a lot more excited about growing garlic after digging up this year's crop.

I'm doing a little back dating here, so that the garden journal date above accurately reflects the day I actually harvested my garlic, as opposed to the day—two weeks later—I'm finally getting around to writing about it. It would only be cheating if it were the other way around, right?

Last year I promised myself I would never again plant my garlic in February, which is about four or five months later than it should go into the ground here in southern Missouri. And this year I kept that promise—I planted my garlic in March instead.