Posts Tagged ‘artichokes’

It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought. ~ James Douglas

Yesterday, we were visited by a rabbit. There are no words that adequately describe this little poofy thing’s cuteness. I mean, it was soooooooo CUTE! It was almost in the house before we saw it, hung out on the patio for a while then hopped around the yard, ate some carrot tops and grass, hopped a little more. Then, it disappeared down the stepping stones toward the artichokes. We thought it was gone but a few minutes later it hopped back out and decided to head down the path into the meditation circle. Maybe it had some thinking to do. We didn’t see it after that, but it was in the backyard for an hour or so just hangin out. It really made our day so much brighter and reminded us why work at home.


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Evening Primrose

“Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun.”
Kahlil Gibran


Well, here we are again at the cusp of a full moon. THe usual ritual of being mindful of what of was accomplished since the last full moon is proving quite difficult. There is simply too much to note. But, I have a tremendous sense of accomplishment deep in my gut and I intend to open a bottle of one of my favorite wines tomorrow night and share it with my man: 2007 Pinot from ZD Wineries, discovered in Napa on our last visit there.

Foxgloves (separate post for these another day!)

Along with the many goals finally reached, there is a garden full of success to enjoy. This is to be celebrated doubly since we lost quite a large number of seedlings to frost-bite (yes, even in California!) over the last month or so. It’s amazing how cold and cloudy it has been here lately, so some of the babies just up and withered and I all but lost the large rosemary plant. Maybe I can save it at the next new moon. No worries though, enough seedlings survived to cover every square inch of Earth under my care and keeping: I’m all out of dirt!

the Chives are blooming

The BIG item: I finished my first math class (Pre-Algebra!) and did well. Math has always been very difficult for me. Growing up in low-income schools and then struggling on my own at home for high school (home school sucks!) put me at a severe disadvantage in this department and I always thought there was no hope to catch up or ever “get it” – Well, I fixed that and I’ve signed up for more algebra during the summer to be followed by more in the fall…and you know what? – I love it! It’s great feeling confident now, despite the times when I was positive nothing new was going to get into my gray matter and take permanent hold. There were moments of sheer panic and dread, followed by pacing, and I will even confess to a couple of tears, but I pushed through it and am proud of myself. It was awesome to walk into class to take a math final, however remedial, and know what to do after a lifetime of just the opposite. (and special thanks to my fabulous Tom for helping me with my homework and for knowing just what to say and when to say it) It also feels really satisfying to know my parents were completely wrong in not believing I was worth any kind of education and to finally be undoing whatever damage that did to my ego and sense of self worth.

Yellow and White Gladiolus

In yoga practice, I finally figured out how to properly do the King Dancer pose (Natarajasana) without falling on my big ass or wobbling like a clumsy dork. (Well, ok, I still wobble a tetch) It makes me feel strong and light at the same, like I could fly or knock down a wall if I needed to. For the first time in a long time I feel a little graceful. Not an easy feeling for me: I have never EVER been comfortable in my skin. There, I said it.

Natarajasana - King Dancer Pose

After several years of nursing the artichoke plants along, we finally have real live artichokes that we actually got to EAT! NO JOKE! here’s their exciting journey:

Artichoke - the first year or so

Artichokes after 2 years - March 2010

an actual Artichoke! April 2010

Ready to eat Artichoke!

To prepare them: wash well, chop off the top inch and leaf tips if they’re sharp, steam in an inch of water with some lemon-garlic-bay leaf type stuff, eat with some mayo into which you’ve stirred a little saffron – delicious! Don’t forget to eat the heart which is at the very bottom after you’ve scooped off the wooly parts.

Trim the top inch off your artichoke before cooking

Aromatic Artichoke Bath

Artichokes waiting in line. I'll be right there....

Yesterday, I finally put every single seedling planted since February into its permanent home. Next year, I will not do so much seed planting and I will use peat pots so I don’t have to do the “pricking out” either – so time consuming! I never expected so many seeds to sprout and live, so when the last of them (mostly tomatoes and leeks) needed permanent homes I was having difficulty finding Earth-space. The “I’ve run out of dirt” statement is NOT an exaggeration! The good news is I’m starting to harvest big lettuce and all the basil. Just in time to plant seeds for the next batch! And YES we are making pesto!

Endive and Basil

Italian and Sweet Basil 5-25-10


what's left of my radishes

It also appears that there will be squash and beans to harvest in the next day or so. That will be keeping me busy, along with bunches of deferred maintenance; caging up all the tomatoes that have run wild and putting the grape vines on the trellis, pulling weeds and trimming/pruning, fertilizing and lots of watering, harvesting and eating it all up. Hopefully, I’ll have a lot more done before I go back to school June 22nd, when I’ll have to stop gardening for a while. sigh.

Grape vines searching for home

So now, I’m off to FINISH things that aren’t quite finished yet – there are always lots of those! In the garden, I’ll replant seeds for the herbs that have already finished their cycle and I want more of; basil and arugula, tarragon, and more seeds for what didn’t live; morning glory, moonflower, anise etc…By tomorrow night when the juicy swooning moon rises to remind me of the absolute truth of my nature, I will be ready.

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She is neither pink nor pale,
And she never will be all mine;
She learned her hands in a fairy-tale,
And her mouth on a valentine.

She has more hair than she needs;
In the sun ’tis a woe to me!
And her voice is a string of colored beads,
Or steps leading into the sea.

She loves me all that she can,
And her ways to my ways resign;
But she was not made for any man,
And she never will be all mine.

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay ~

Seeds planted on 2-17-10

*Giant Musselburg Leeks
*Honey Rock Cantaloupe
*Black Beauty Eggplant
*Bell Pepper (color mix)
*Cardinal Climber
*Morning Glory – Heavenly Blue

Seeds planted on 2-18-10

*Pole Peas
*Regular Ol’ Peas
*Sweet Basil
*White Bush Scallop Squash
*Yellow Crookneck Squash
*What The Hell? (what I call seeds that fell out of packets and ended up in the bottom of the jar…I have no idea what’s what so I put it all in one pot called “what the hell” and watered it)

Also I:

*uncovered the pomegranate and artichokes which were buried under grass

*put garden soil under the apple tree where I previously dumped too much fireplace ash

*emptied the soil out of the unused pots to let them rinse in the rain

*transplanted the guara (aka “whirling butterflies”) there were three so I replanted two and separated one into two more. I’ll separate the other two next year. These are among my favorites and I like to put them on the back garden wall where they fly around in the breeze and force you to smile even when you don’t feel like it.

set stepping stones at the entrance of the meditation circle (aka wedding chapel) which is now full of overturned planters waiting for the seeds I just planted to mature

Also, I went to ACE Hardware and used my son’s employee discount to get a fabulous new broom with a red wooden handle, using the old one for my Pole Peas

All of this got done by Thursday night, which was perfect since it started raining last night. Now I can relax for the weekend and get my homework and laundry done while it’s raining. New broom, new seeds, fresh rain – I have a lot to celebrate!

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