The garden from afar


On a better day than this….

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The garden gate

DSCN1415With Tithonia torch and clematis paniculata.

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Tithonia Torch

DSCN1491.jpgOr Mexican Sunflower, an annual. I planted a few on either side of my garden gate last summer, and they grew 6-8 feet tall, full of these flowers. It made an arbor for me to walk under on the way in. They’re still blooming now. Not that this would give you any ideas….


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Spinach planting

Do it now. Trust me. Do it before the first snow, planted any way you like; broadcast atop the soil, buried slightly in rows, it doesn’t matter. Spinach will spend the winter getting ready to burst forth in great profusion in spring. And I mean GREAT profusion. 

By comparison, spinach I sow in spring — no matter how early — does, well, pretty much ahhh. Marginal. 

I don’t have a good photo of spinach because we ate it all. 

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Garlic time


Order it now, if you haven’t, and plant before frost. Research hard- or soft-neck to see which sounds best for you. The biggest cloves yield the largest bulbs, so I use the smaller ones for cooking. These (above) are large. I’ll plant them blunt end down, about two inches deep, six inches apart in the row, then cover the bed with maybe 6 inches of compost leaves from last fall. The cloves may peek above the mulch before deep freeze, but that’s fine. 

Organic garlic is so finer-flavored than what you find in the store as to almost be a different vegetable. Same with celery, broccoli, and more. Now just wait for these babies to mature in summer. It’s a ritual in our house, because fine flavors follow.



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Fence post fix

When a fence post rots off at the soil line, with a few feet left underground, I know of two ways to get it out to make room the new one. One, drive the sharp end of a pick into the buried post and pry it up. Or, use your post hold digger (I know you have one) to dig a hole next to the buried post section and push the butt toward the new hole to lift it out.

Ta Dah.

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First year, and worth it.


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It’s time.

DSCN0952.jpg The finest-tasting butternut squash is homegrown organically. But you knew that. Buy if you must, but buy whole ones only. Those tasteless pre-skinned and sliced thingies are for those who don’t know how to have fun.

As to preparation, don’t peel them. Cut the ends off, then cut into round sections with a big-ass knife (above). The fat end has seeds, so scoop them out for compost. Lay the other sections wide end down and lop off the hard skin. Chop the remainder into pieces for steaming. When it’s soft, it’s ready. I forget how long that takes. 


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One afternoon


Just got back from taking kitchen swill to the compost bin, me and Fenway. He watched his fish friends in the pond, and almost caught a frog. Me, I sat in a folding stool, watching the clouds scudding aloft, passing clouded thoughts of all the miracles I saw today, and thanking God for treasures beyond measure and love brimming full. “Thank you God,” was all i could say.

Swallows were diving and swirling across the sky like spent bronze bullets, and the wind blew falling leaves their way so you couldn’t tell the two apart; swallow and leaf.

It was a rich moment. Next time, you come too.

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When a recipe calls for a garlic clove, that’s always a typo. They meant 2 or 3.

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