Saturday, June 14, 2008

our veggies...

we've started a small organic garden out back with eight different heirloom tomato plants (matt's wild cherry, pineapple, wapsipinicon peach, cherokee purple, super sweet 100, tigerella, green zebra, etc.), several basil, some oregano, thyme, pimento peppers, purple peppers, japs, cukes, three different kinds of onions, two different melons (old orignal and hale's best), broccoli, early moonbeam watermelons, blackberries, a couple different lettuces (red and bibb) and (not planted yet, so might be too late) hopefully corn.

it's very exciting and we've just eaten the first tomatoes right off our Matt's Wild Cherry plant

and made pesto from the basil,

and plucked a few blackberries.

this is practice, because next year we hope to start a farm and use it to supply our little restaurant when we're ready to open one (or just have a stand at several farmer's markets). and with the trucking industry about to shut down from diesel prices and your local grocery store shelves growing leaner, gardening is gonna be a national pastime soon. of course, the main reason is to feed ourselves. and yes, the pix sux, as I took em at night. cyn will do a much better job...


Blogger j.b said...

nice. smart move.
we, too, have a garden going again this year. corn (coming in right nice), cukes, zukes, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, strawberries, green beans...

we've a limited area to work with, so we need to choose wisely. next year, no strawberries...lesson learned.

i might need to hit you up for some of those heirloom tomato seeds, if you harvest your own seeds...

11:43 AM  
Blogger said...

And here I thought I was special (kidding). We've got a few things finally growing well, but nothing to harvest yet. I just tore up a little patch in the back yard...put down topsoil, compost, and you imply, it'll take at least another year to get the soil right, but you have to start sometime. It's corn, bell peppers, sweet onions, cukes, beans, lettuce, habanero peppers, and herbs (basil, oregano, cilantro, rosemary, et cetera) for us. (And most certainly others I've forgotten.) Good luck with it! (And I thought the photos were pretty decent, so hey.)

4:18 PM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

thanks all, and good to know I'm not (completely) insane. our current order of things cannot long stand the pressure from all quarters and it behooves us to learn to take care of ourselves. the grocery store won't be able to sustain us, peak oil will see to that, and the whole industrialized food paradigm is fatally flawed and crumbling around us. we literally EAT oil and as long as we continue to insist that The American Way as currently envisioned is a proper long term survival plan, we're doomed.

some farmland, some solar thermal, a greenhouse, a well and a pond and plenty of ammo. that's the prescription right there...

dmm: that sounds like a damn fine garden right there. we've gone with containers for almost everything since we don't plan on being here in the SWATS (SW Atl) for much longer. we want land outside of asheville or, better yet, vermont (someday). when that fakery called global warming turns the south into an equatorial jungle, vermont will be the perfect growing environment...

it's crazy how a deeper consciousness takes over in lean times, how it is common to those who are 'awake' to the world around them and are capable of a dramatic change in their thinking, in their imagining of how life is/should be. I mean, a garden? five dollar gas (and gonna go higher)? a police state? whodathunkit?

and jb, we'll surely save some of those seeds.

6:14 PM  
Blogger said...

Well, to be fair, I've been wanting to grow some herbs and vegetables for a while, but this is the first time I've had any property to do it. (Even our previous apartments weren't conducive to indoor or sill planting.)

We got pelted with some good-sized hail tonight, so tomorrow we'll see how it looks. The bell peppers, sweet onions, and corn were the ones most developed that I'm worried about. Herbs are all indoors, along with half the habanero peppers and the collards, so at least we know that's okay.

10:46 PM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

man as long as onions take to mature, I sure hope they survived the pelting. I'm gonna try two kinds of corn and see what happens.

next year we're gonna plan on how much we'd need for a year and try to meet that, start everything indoors well ahead of time, and have storage ready for everything. cyn knows how to can so that'll be dandy for much of it...

12:26 PM  
Blogger j.b said...

well, if you can spare a few seeds, i'd be happy to obtain some from you, chris. damn happy.

yes, the current system is flawed; has been for decades. it will eventually collapse and those unprepared will be hurting. even a little garden in the backyard could be the difference between life and death. might seem melodramatic, but we'll see.

a place in Vermont sounds nice. almost all my family is up in the New England states. but, unfortunately i don't keep in contact with any of them. we'd visited when i was a kid many times. gorgeous up there. even now.

we should have our first harvest of tomatoes in about 3 weeks. our winter was cold, and ridiculously extended such that we had no spring. planting was done late this year (like 3 weeks ago), but so far so good. looking forward to everything.

herbs are good too. forgot to mention that we've several varieties of sage (which grows like a weed here) and basil, oregano and many bushes of rosemary.


12:29 PM  
Blogger said...

Yeah, canning is a skill I like. I'd like to get into it, but the kits seem a bit expensive for what I'm willing to try at the moment. Maybe if/when the garden grows I'll consider it more.

Not doing any tomatoes here; Anna didn't want to. Not really sure why, but hey.

Growing for a full year would be wild. Admirably ambitious. Keep me posted.

And yeah, Vermont is a nice area. I miss New England a little bit, but the parochialism not so much. Although I reckon that goes with just about anywhere, but you tend to expect more when a place professes itself to be a mecca of liberal openness. (Although I think that might be the heart of the problem--the natural backlash/opposition that occurs in our wonderful species.)

Do love Asheville, though, too. How soon are you looking to relocate? No chance of you neighboring j.b out in Utah? Heh.

1:34 AM  
Blogger j.b said...

i don't recommend Utah to anyone.

you thought New England was parochial, David? hooo boy. i don't even know where to begin.... wish i knew how.

if things turn out and the wife and i are able to conceive, we've already planned on making our own baby foods with the veggies we grow ourselves. maybe canning/jarring will be a skill one of us will learn so we can make huge batches...we might just have to give Cyn a call and get her expertise. :)

10:24 AM  
Blogger said...

Well, like I said, I know it's worse places. But it seems bad there, but maybe that's contrast more than anything.

Don't mean to get personal in a public forum, but weren't you always sort of anti-procreation? Maybe I remember wrong? Anyway, good luck if that's the goal, ha. (All the fun is in trying, right? Haha.)

4:15 PM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

yeah, cyn learned from a local farmer and then did some study on her own. she makes vinegars and knows the Mystery of Pickles too.

food for a year will take some planning, not something I'm really great at, but we'll see how it goes. it's all new to me but it seems really natural, obvious in a way...

and asheville will DEF. be where we make our first move and then hopefully move further up the east coast. some nice land in the mts with no neighbors. perfect.

homemade baby food, eh? good luck on all fronts (and thanks, by the way jb, for the clear and unambiguous detail you've given on the 'process' for attempted baby making. sounds 'clinical.'

4:29 PM  
Blogger said...

Oh, and I meant to add that I'm going to take cc's lead and make some fresh pesto tonight. Will use some of the other herbs to make a nice rub for the baked tofu. It'll be the first "harvest" from what we've planted.

5:04 PM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

that sounds delicious, david. there's a local organic restaurant cyn makes food for occasionally who serves up a damn fine rosemary tofu sandwich w/pesto on homemade bread. the secret to the tofu is, of course, applying massive sustained pressure before baking or breading and frying in order to squeeze out the water and firm it up nicely.

so rewarding using your own garden, though, isn't it? like recovering some memory we never really had, something almost genetic.

7:42 PM  
Blogger j.b said...

no worries on getting personal. i wasn't anti-procreation. i was merely anti-procreation for me. subtle difference. however, after the wife nearly died, she changed her mind and instead of inflicting years of suffering upon her by denying her this one thing she desperately, innately needs, i figured i could possibly survive being a father. hopefully.

yeah, you're welcome Chris. the most surreal moment of my life. i still get fear shivers thinking that i made a fatal error by leaving what i left instead of what was supposed to be left. turns out, i was right.
and the baby food thing will work well, i'm sure. unless it doesn't...then we can only hope we don't kill the poor thing. (really, i don't think i'm fit to be a father......but, that might (ironically) make me MOST fit to be one, or something).

as for utah. it's one of the most beautiful places in the entire world that i've seen (and i've been many places and lived in nearly all of them). however, the culture is quite...well, there really is no word for it. provincial might come close.

how'd the pesto turn out, David? hope it was good... :)

10:41 PM  
Blogger said...

Yeah, I used rosemary, thyme, sage, and some coriander on the tofu. sliced and coated in bread crumbs mixed with the herbs, and baked, then we had it with the pesto almost as a garnish. Turned out pretty good. Only half the meal, but I always love that first harvest--it's sort of relieving, like even if everything turned and died on you, you still got something out of it.

10:44 PM  
Blogger said...

Ugh, sorry for the multiple posts. I didn't properly refresh so I missed j.b's response...didn't mean to totally disregard it--just didn't know it existed, ha.

Anyway, yeah, I hear ya, and good luck with it. I'm still pretty anti-procreation myself. But, as you distinguish, the rules are for myself. I'm not fond of rules for other people, generally, ha.

And the pesto came out surprisingly well. Considering I did it from scratch and had never made it before, I would have been happy with something palatable. But, I dare say, it was one of the better pestos I ever had. Never underestimate freshness, eh?

11:15 PM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

yes, we here at the compound have a difficult enough time raising dogs much less children. I don't know if I'm responsible enough frankly.

I find myself still awake and fairly drunk at six in the a.m. too many mornings for kiddies.

but I think you'll make a dandy father jb.

and david, it is indeed about freshness; you can't compare something that is fully ripe, full of nutrients, full of taste with something that is barely sufficiently mature enough to be chopped, crated and shipped from brazil or chile so it can sit on a supermarket shelf and ripen, after being sprayed to keep that from happening too quickly, and coated in some kind of 'veggie wax' so it looks nice under those high pressure lights.

natural. good to know we're all gonna eat like damn hell ass kings this year, huh?

7:50 AM  
Blogger j.b said...

thanks Chris. a lot of people have said that, but i think that's only because they secretly snicker at my foolishness..."dumb bastard, boy what a world of heartache and stress he's setting himself up for"...then they see me and say: "oh, you'll make a great father"....we'll see.

i love eating like a hell ass king. just the other day....oh never mind. :) i'm looking forward to the first harvest from our garden. one of the best times of the year for us out here in Zion!

9:07 PM  
Blogger said...

j.b...tried posting this but I must have done something wrong, so second try:

Just wanted to wish you and your wife luck. I think the last time we corresponded was when I sent you a letter of condolence when she was undergoing testing. Sounds to hear that's all in the past? Certainly hope so.

10:29 PM  
Blogger j.b said...


Thanks, man...yes, she's better now. Lots of stuff we need to stay on top of, but it's manageable and that's as good an outcome as we could hope.
Things were rough around these parts for a while there. The fog is lifting and life is moving along.

Thanks again...last we talked you were still in Mass. How's the new digs?

1:17 PM  
Blogger christopher cunningham said...

re: canning

4:40 PM  
Blogger said...


Yeah, it's been almost a year exactly that we've been in Buffalo now. We've settled nicely--Buffalo is way different from Somerville/Cambridge, but that's both good and bad. But the people here are wonderful--we probably have more friends and professional contacts here than we had in Boston. And the best part is the amount of overlap there. Just a much more welcoming scene. The downside is that everyone is more welcoming because the city has been so poor for so long and has so many other problems (corruption, crime, poor schools, et cetera). But that also means that we went from a small one-bedroom apartment to an entire house and our rent went *down* by about a third. Ha.

Anyway, sorry for the monologue there, but thanks for asking. So glad to hear things are looking up over there--hope it continues.


Admit it--you found that video through your "Prufrock" Google Alert.

9:34 PM  

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