Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How the garden grows

And so, I finally got to get back on my knees: pulling up weeds; snipping energy sapping suckers, and inspecting the underside of leaves for signs of larvae. Yes, I gave the man and the dogs some love first but I was definitely distracted.

As soon as the hellos and hugs turned to “have you eaten?” I put on my garden shoes to see how things have gone in my absence. A quick survey caused great elation within me as the tomato plants where starting to look heavy with developing clusters

and a splay of blooms. The cabbage and broccoli are recognizable and clearly vying for a place at the county fair. Not all things have withstood the elements well – the eggplants, clearly a favorite for the leaf-cutters that have been enjoying a buffet. I was warned and in my bag along with underwear, socks and t-shirts was tea tree oil tincture and lavender scented castile soap, which was to become my hope for rendering the plant unappetizing. A few drops of each into a misting bottle diluted in water and I went to work. I will continue this wash every morning for a few days, and then sit back hoping for signs of un-interpreted life. Now admittedly, eggplants are not a top favorite of mine but this a community and I am committed to treat all equally – except for unwanted, gluttonous pests.

Yet still, there is more to rejoice in then wallow. My mixed lettuce greens begged for immediate tossing; arugula flowers offered a bucolic as well peppery note to that salad mix. The runt of the garden, a fragile three-leafed pineapple sage was left by me a month ago, with what I believed to be a realistic belief, anticipating it would not make it. Has it proven me wrong! It might not have achieved the height its botanical descriptive might lead me to hope for but it is leafy, green and smells divine. I will allow it to climb skywards before I start clipping those leaves for some fantastic scenting. Tonight though, my other aromatic dream will be snipped. The infant lemon verbena left to bask in the sun has taken off. I can so envision a tree by the summer’s end – and what a fantasy come true.

I left a raised bed of loamy soil moist from a good-bye soaking. I can see that my rows of corn will be knee high by the fourth of July.
It has been decades since I was able to go grab a cob from its stalk husk it and go at it. Patience. Adjacent to mid-summer’s iconic kernels are a dozen or so broad-leafed stems rotating with the path of the sun. I never knew you could set your east-west direction by observing the position of a sunflower. I have watched them start leaning in one direction ending the day on the opposite tilt; waking up in the same place only to quickly bend to meet the morning light. It’s alive! They are absolutely going to be my last view of the day and first visit the following morning.

Turkey Skewers – yields 4 to 6 servings
1 poblano chili
3-pound turkey breast (boneless and skinless)
3-garlic cloves – finely minced
2-tablespoons za’taar spice mix
Juice of 1lime (approx. 3-tablespoons)
1/4-cup roughly chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

Cut the poblano chili in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds and stem. Then cut the poblano into 9 pieces.

Cube the turkey into 2-inch chunks. Place the pablano and turkey in a work bowl and toss with the garlic, za’taar, lime juice and cilantro. Le the meat marinate for one to fours in the refrigerator. Using 8 or 10-inch skewers thread two pieces of meat than a piece of poblano then meat. Finishing the skewer with a piece of turkey meat. Season with salt.

Heat the grill and cook the skewers for about 15 minutes over a high – rotating the skewers every so often.

No comments: