Monday, July 4, 2011

Haze and laze

By Michelle

Summer has not been a bummer. There has been swimming, grilling, chillin' in the backyard with many a good book and gardening. Oh the gardening. It's mostly hopeful until the first tomatoes, peppers and squash erupt but at least the herb garden is super productive.

In fact, the herb garden is bigger and better than ever. On the left (foreground) I have dill, which I didn't even plant (though I may have absent minded-ly scattered seeds last year), apparently perennial oregano and sage explosion and some new additions including thyme and mint.

I'm on my second planting of arugula already, but really the first batch went to seed too quick for me to get much of it. I hear that technically you can eat it, but it will be bitter. I took a pass and let the compost heap have it.

In the background are perpendicular raised beds which were once located where the garage now stands. They house tomatoes galore as well as chard, cucumber (first time!) and summer squash (another first time plant). I'm debating taking a canning class, which should be mandatory since I'll be helping to host a class on preserving the harvest (eek!). At least I know how to freeze and can impart this wonderful wisdom to others.

I'm figuring out garlic still, and it certainly looks cool, but there's more to learn. It did make its debut in pizza sauce.

It lacked the paper skins outside the cloves and the bulb itself. I think there's some next step I should be taking that I'll probably figure out very soon, hopefully before the garlic rots in the ground.

The hops are doing well despite my neglect. We are compensating by building them their own custom trellis (because it's dead simple and much cheaper than purchasing a ready made one). Still, they are not going to be brew-ready this year so my plan is to get a kit for the first batch. And since my office has switched to "summer hours" for Friday I'll have a little extra time to - finally - stop talking about it and actually brew some beer.

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