Friday, July 1, 2011

Weekly Report

It has been a sad week for me, as I had to put down two plants. I am so attached to each and every vining, flowering, fruit-offering organism out there. I had to admit that it was time to take down the sweet peas for they never really took. I got maybe a total of 10 pods off the five seedlings that all season struggled to survive – while those peas were delicious they will go down as the most expense peas I have ever eaten. I bought the plant in New York’s farmer’s market, an heirloom variety that should have done well in the heat. The truth is they went in too late here, and next year I will plant the peas in late March in order for them to establish themselves and hopefully shoot, flower and pod. The only upside was that the rabbits and deer got not even a nibble off the plant. The harder but necessary removal from the garden was the cauliflower -- so sad, so sad. They ended up infested with black little critters that were have a feast on their leaves, turning their nascent flower heads speckled with dark spots and leaving their leaves looking like laces dollies. However, the lavender spray is successful with the aphids that from time to time I find sucking the life from the tomato plants – I have been calling on all ladybugs
to come and assist me. It did not matter have much of my lavender concoction I dosed on them I was going to win this one. It was obvious, even to me, left unchecked that the cauliflower was days from being but a stalk, and I did not want to run the risk of them moving on to the adjacent cabbage or okra. I believe I lost this battle to the emerging Japanese beetle, which has become this month’s nemesis.

Don’t despair for me for it has not been a week of only horticultural woes. In general the ground that I hoped to be able to collect from has been providing generously: more zucchinis then one consume on any given day; copious engorgement of cucumbers, both the more common elongated ones as well the bulbous lemon. Starting life out in the garden as a puny, two-leaf hope the pineapple sage is flourishing and scenting my meals. Jalapenos, poblanos and bell peppers hang heavily on branches. Almost all the corn stalks now have the tassels from cobs
fluttering in the afternoon breeze. That cabbage head that is vying for a spot at the county fair.

And, I am going to beg we harvest that
watermelon this weekend.

The earth is kind and generous, and I am rendered more peaceful as a witness and custodian of some of her miracles.

Latin White Cabbage Slaw
1 head white cabbage
5 scallions – thinly sliced
2 tablespoons oregano leaves - chopped
4 clove garlic – thinly sliced
2 poblano chilies – sliced julienne
1 jalapeno – sliced julienne
1 serrano – sliced julienne
1 white onion – thinly sliced
1 medium carrot – peeled, and sliced julienne
1/2-cup cider vinegar
1/4-cup olive oil
2-teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut the cabbage in quarters, and cut out the tough core. Then slice the cabbage very thinly. And place in a large, clean work bowl with the scallions and oregano.

In a 2-1/2 quart saucepan place the garlic, chilies, onion, carrot and cider vinegar. Bring to the boil, and then remove from the heat and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Then pour the vinegar mixture over the cabbage. Toss the cabbage along with the oil, salt and pepper. Correct seasoning. Chill.

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