Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sheet Composting Benefits the Soil

This is a method I've tried before --successfully-- and wanted to share it with you. Let me know if you're going to give it a try.

Monday, May 9, 2011

T Is for Tomatoes

Home grown tomatoes

If I had to choose just one plant to grow in my garden, the tomato would win hands-down. Nothing says summertime to me like home grown tomatoes.

Those pinkish to red colored globes supermarkets sell during the winter resemble their summer counterparts for the most part, but once you slice into them, all bets are off. The insides of hot house tomatoes are frequently light pink to white and the texture is mealy or hard. If you've only eaten hot house tomatoes and decided fresh tomatoes aren't for you, I completely understand.

Visit your local farmer's markets to try field-grown tomatoes in season, or better still, grow your own. There is nothing to compare to the flavor, texture, and juiciness of a freshly-picked, home grown tomato. In my mind, it is a food of the gods.

I've planted three varieties of tomatoes in this year's garden: Early Girl, Rutgers and Better Boy. I'm also planning to plant some San Marzano tomatoes--they are the preferred by many chefs for making tomato paste and sauce because of their meatiness. The other three varieties that I've planted are good eating/slicing tomatoes and can also be used in various ways.

What tomato varieties have you grown or experimented with? Do you have any tips on canning or preservation that a newbie like myself could learn from?

Picture Credit: Kenneth Allen; Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Unicorn in My Garden

When I am in the garden, I feel as if I am in a world of my own. I'm able to let go of the concerns of the day and enjoy my time outdoors. My imagination runs free and all sorts of silly, happy thoughts come to visit.

What if a unicorn came to my garden? Would I be frightened? Likely not. We have horses, and unicorns must be somewhat like horses. Would the unicorn stay while I tended the garden? Maybe if I didn't frighten him on his first visit, he would return again.

Is it a secret I would keep, just between him and I? I think so; unicorns are magical creatures. Talking about them aloud to others probably ruins the magic. Besides, no one would believe me. Other people would say I had been out in the sun too long.

But there is magic in the garden. You can feel it when the first sprouts peek up from the ground. There's life there, where there had been none. A garden is filled with possibilities, even of spotting a unicorn.