Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I picked the garden before we left for our 9 day vaca to the mountains of NC. Things had gotten pretty dry before we left and I was slightly worried about what may collapse while I was away. While I love vacation I feel a sense of needing to be home- to take care of the critters and plants. Three inches of rain brought an abundance of peppers, eggplant, okra and cracking tomatoes. Uh oh. Better get to work.
Can't rest if I want the larder stocked for winter.

1 batch just tomatoes & salt.
1 batch Peach & Blackberry jam
1 batch Strawberry and Blackberry jam

Red Okra & Eggplant
May have to pickle this giant okra
This recipe sounds good, minus the sugar. 
Good food in Asheville, NC inspired our first meals back home. I was thankful that I didn't have to run to the grocery store to feed us. I did run to the local farm to pick up some peaches and while I was there -blackberries, eggs, sweet potatoes and sweet corn. 
 Sauted corn, onions & peppers 
for brown rice, black bean, cheese burritoes
with chive & tomato salsa.
Fresh Food Fast

With this ridiculously cool weather I was in the mood for comfort food and a taste of the south so heated up some pre-cooked and frozen Sage Pinto Beans, served over Peppered Cornbread with a side of Crunchy Baked Okra.  I subbed soy milk for the buttermilk, but any milk would suffice. I also soaked the okra in the wet mix for an hour. No particular reason- just prepped early. I worked out well. The okra was so tender. 
The meal was a hit. 

First Fall Plantings
I weeded and hoed up a small area on the south side of the garage and planted- spinach, carrots, kale, pak choi, chard and a meslun mix. If it stays cool (and this week is in the low 80s again) these should do ok. 

When Good Gardens go Wild
 There was actually order in this madness

 Cosmos & Elephant Amaranth
Red Okra flower being
swallowed up by pumpkin vines
You can tell okra is related to hibiscus!

I know it's only a singlet, but it makes me pretty happy to see this Monarch has found the tropical milkweed I planted for it. I have several native species with only the butterfly weed in bloom presently, but this bfly is happily feeding on the non-native tropical variety. 

Closing thoughts
I subscribe to a garden blogger in Ireland. It struck me that she commented about the wars & terror going on. When I came home from vacay I had an overwhelming sense of happiness. Everything was green and lush and for a moment or maybe 9 days I had a sense of seeing the good. When I returned home I found out a young, unarmed black man was gunned down by a police officer in a nearby community and looting and violence have followed. The break from news media combined with constant fresh air, good food and exercise had momentarily undone the barrage of bad news in the world. While a half a world away, that blogger and I are on the same planet, trying to find some good in the world, while constantly being reminded of the bad. I missed my furry & feathered friends. I missed my garden. But I loved my vacation. And I love being back home. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That jam looks amazing! I have to bug my spouse to make some this month - plum, peach, or sour cherry, or all three! I know what you mean about the news. One of the reasons I garden is that it gives me a sense of trnquility and helps keep me sane.