Category Archives: Off the (Gardening) Wall

Time away

One of my cousin Pamela Lawton's Window Collection paintings.

I give you fair warning, this post contains exactly one reference to gardening. There. You can't say I didn't warn you. It has three parts: Family, Friends, and Floods. They're not strictly accurate divisions, since family turned up in part 2 as well as 1, but I couldn't resist the alliteration.

I. Family

Those of you who have been doing your homework (i.e., reading my posts) know that I've been in the Northeast. The occasion was a family gathering in Massachusetts to honor my father (yes, I know, the third such gathering). I spent it talking with cousins, second cousins, first cousins once-removed, step-cousins, step-cousins twice-removed, and all possible permutations thereof, as well as the occasional sister, uncle, and nephew.

My husband spent it playing with the many children in attendance, earning for himself the exhausted thanks of most parents there, and the exalted title of Pied Piper. People watched in awe as he and a troop of kids ranging in age from four to sixteen disappeared up the streamside path towards the waterfall a mile away, then reappeared two hours later with all the kids' knees and tempers intact.

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Time out

I drafted a post on the plane home on Tuesday, but haven't had time to finish it, dad nab it. It's been busy.

The day after our return we had dinner with some old friends from out of town, and while going out would have been less work, eating in meant we could have arugula pesto and fresh garden salad, and with the raspberries just coming on strong, the image of a raspberry tart began to float in my mind… We stayed in.

Today one of my cousins and his family, en route to Yellowstone, arrived. This is the most marvelous family. Seven-year-old Julia helped pick peas, currants, and cherries, shelled peas and beans for the potato salad (with home-grown potatoes, of course), told me all about the books she's reading, and left the hammock as soon as her brother gave her a half-hour turn and walked away. (What's the point of winning the hammock, if her brother isn't standing by waiting for his turn?)

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Introducing my son, Brook


Would you hire this guy to take care of your garden? Of course you would. Look at the light of responsibility shining in those eyes, the earnest, concentrated furrow in the brow, the hint of humor about the mouth.

Wait, that must be some other picture. Or some other guy.

So seriously, would you trust this guy? Not a chance.

Well, that's the difference between us: I did. Of course, he's my son, which may be a mitigating factor, or just an explanation.

I mean, here I am on the east coast with all my extended family, and there he is back in Bozeman, Montana, with the garden, so it seemed like a no-brainer.

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Kale feast

Kale harvest

A quickie, here, as it's already after eleven. But I did want to show off my kale harvest, centerpiece of tonight's veggies. I've been picking tiny leaves for salad for weeks, and had one other mid-size leaf harvest, but this is the first big collection of leaves eight to ten inches long–not counting the stems.
Dandelion greens Snugged down in that collander where you can't see them are the dandelion greens, which I've chosen to reproduce in miniature, so you won't notice how out of focus the picture is.

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Yesterday's omelet

Seriously, folks. Back to gardening.

Chard and carrots fr

This morning my long-suffering husband informed me that we had with real, local eggs for our Saturday omelet. (If you don't know why he's long-suffering, you haven't read this morning's post. It was supposed to be yesterday's post, but some cyberspace hiccup delayed it.)

In honor of the eggs, I went to the basement for fresh vegies. (Yes, basement. More on this soon.) There's not a lot to choose from at this season, but I did find enough fresh chard and carrots to do the trick. Along with a grating of jarlsburg cheese and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds, they made a truly luscious omlete.

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