Boston Garden.

It's a summer Friday for me, Micah. And it feels like it. It's 88 degrees, not much cooler in the shade, and the Sox are playing this weekend. Awwwwwww summer!

So, instead of doing something all crazy and unique on this Friday, I'm going to start my garden journal. I was supposed to start one and keep track, so I know what works and what doesn't up here in the Somerville soil, to know what to order more of next year and what to bag.

So here goes. Ignore the pictures. My camera was dropped, by me, and my lens got all tore up, and it's stuck in zoom. All the pics on the blog are going to be uncomfortably close until I get a new lens.

Garden. Day 1.

Entire garden without the annex, day 17. So not the whole garden. We had a near freeze the other night. I couldn't sleep a wink for all the worry. Only got 7 hours.

Top left: Cilantro. Planted from a seed. Not doing a whole lot. Cept attracting weeds.

Closer left:
Okra. Clemson Spineless. Just started coming up. Thanks to bugs, it's currently Clemson leafless.

Mid Left:
Arugula. Roquette. Planted from seedlings. Five are looking good, one is not so hot.

Bush Beans. Bush Blue Lake. Those guys are looking pretty stellar. Have come up from seeds and are the early front runner for Best Of Seedling category.

Closer Left:
Marigold. Sunset Giants. From seeds. Petering out. Less than giants.

Closer Left:
Carrots. Danvers Half Long. From seeds. I was told spacing carrots out is hard. So I jsut dumped them out and covered with dirt. I think that's illegal during times of famine. They started looking pretty good, a bunch of little green shoots. But now it is hot and I don't think all their hearts are in it. Still looks like 80% are going to be okay.

Bottom Left:
Peppers. From seedlings. I don't even know what kind. Hope they ain't hot. Cept today.

Bottomer Left:
Ozark Beauty strawberries. We'll see about all'a that.

Middle Close:
Rosemary. Looking like usual. I grew some last year and it was fine.

By the way. Last year I planted some thyme. Well, that guy was great, then lived through the winter, and now is back at his usual going bananas for an herb deal. Pretty fun to see a perennial doing his thing.

Top Right: Tomatoes. We have Kellogg's breakfast, Great White, Early Girl and Juliet. All from seedlings. All just waiting for it to get warmer. I think I'll get them some cages next fiscal cycle. A few have had little yellow leaves. But I've killed those arms. Broke em off.

Top Right, spaced in between: Basil. Genovese. From seedlings. If last year was any indication, wait till July. Then we have a basil forest.

Middle Right: Sweet corn. The Pilgrims grew it and didn't even have the Internet. I'll be fine.

I built the trellis today. Bam.

Below it: Peas. Laxton's Progress. From seeds. Progressing just like Laxton would have wanted. Four of the 10 or so seeds I planted are growing, and I dropped in an extra 5 today.

Above that (not pictured because it's still getting it's act together under the soil, I hope): Cucumber. Bush Champion. Not acting like one. From seeds.

To the left: Parsley. Italian. Sal's Choice. Rather dormant looking at this point. Kind of anemic.

And finally on the

Red Onions and Yellow Onions. From seedlings.

Leeks. They've got some growing to do if they want to impress the buyer from Kroger. That's all I'm saying.

Middle: Greek Oregano. From seedling. Doesn't appear to be doing anything. But it got a first round bye because I've never cooked with it. I just like the taste on pizza.

Not pictured is the annex. In there we have sweet corn, which is waiting on Thanksgiving, and some Kentucky Colonel mint, which just missed the Derby. Nothing more to report there.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend.


Crazy Bread.

Last night, I got home and went on a five mile run.

During the course of that time, my view of the neighboring village of Cambridge was completely rocked. Over 45 minutes I:

1) Stumbled across a shooting at Harvard. Cops abuzz everywhere. Media circus.

2) The Cambridge Mormon Church which had burned down the day before.

3) An unconfirmed Darkon game being played in Cambridge Common. To be fair, it was less warrior and more Goth. But I couldn't find any real search results on Google. Those guys are underground.

In far less dark news, we went to the Boston Breakers game Sunday night. We know one of the girls on the team (and she wasn't the one from UNC). They battled to a tie against Washington. Isn't it always a tie in Washington?


Busy Bees

Busy. We've been busy. Working. Planting gardens. Playing lacrosse (me). Scoring goals in lacrosse games. Buying a car. Date nights to tacky Asian themed palaces. Errands. Weeding gardens. Selling a car. Out with winter clothes. In with summer clothes. Volvo Ocean Races.

Last week we bought a new (used) car. A Mazda Protege5. It's somewhere between a hatchback and a small station wagon. It needed a little work, but that's been done. Except for some minor body work that needs to be done (apparently the last owner wasn't a pro at parallel parking). It's very exciting. Older car, but only 26k miles on it. Quite excellent. We also sold a car, the VW Golf, last week. Hope it's happy in its new home.

Micah (shown above, in the garden annex which has only corn and mint...don't ask) has already posted about his garden. Vegetables are his specialty. But I also have a garden. With plants and flowers. And a stray thyme plant. I'm not really sure that I have a green thumb, but we'll see what happens.

I planted some perennials along with some annuals, so we'll see. Primroses, dahlias, columbine, poppies, peonies and a bunch of other stuff. And our neighbor who is very into gardening, has given us some clippings from his yard, we'll see if they take. Our azaleas (not planted by us) are in bloom in the front.

One bush in particular is pretty spectacular - all pink, hardly any green.

I can't wait for the hydrangeas to bloom, but that's a ways off yet. We'll see how it goes.


Stolen Beauty

So, a while ago, my friend Lori posted on her blog about an idea she had. She had decided to buy herself fresh flowers every week for her desk.
Not very long after that, I was moved at my office. My lovely view of the Charles River taken away and traded for a dark cubeland with no view and hardly any light (we're talking 3 lamps on my desk and a floor lamp I share with a co-worker).
So, a few weeks ago, I followed suit and stole Lori's idea. I bought a cheap vase and headed to the flower stall. The first week it was daffodils. And this week it's yellow ranunculus - my new favorite flower since my wedding. I used to not really care much about flowers - yes, pretty, definitely love to get them, but I didn't really have a preference as to what kind. But now I do. Ranunculus are my favorite. And these right here are pretty beautiful. Yay. A little sunshine in my day.

Micah and the Chocolate Factory

Less than three blocks from us is a nondescript building. It is by three junkyards and a laundry facility that I assume does table cloths and aprons but has a nondescript name so I'm uncertain of what they do but whatever it is they do it with royalty.

Back to candy. This factory makes chocolate. Very limited amount, very by hand. The get the beans from the Dominican Republic and take them from bean to bar right there, three blocks from the house. Dare I say it is the freshest, most Mexican chocolate I've had in my life. It's not all refined and milk like the European style; it's ground by stones and is gritty and rough and makes an amazing ice chocolate drink.

They also pay really great wages to their farmers (so they say). They claim they pay 15% over Fair Trade prices, which if they actually do (and I'm inclined to believe it, one of the guys who founded Taza started ZipCar) then they are keeping food in a lot of bellies in the DR.

So once a month or so Taza hosts an open house and you can go munch on their goods and sip on the drinks. It's fun, but not in that Gene Wilder You're turning violet, Violet kind of way. Just in the small things in life that are well thought out can really make a difference, culturally as well as gastronomically.

Marianna - poor thing - was sick and came home from work Friday sick, and as of this Tuesday morning still has a fever, so event number two of Micah Alone was to go to a Derby Party. I represented the Whitsons at a party throw by Charlotte, who is from Louieville, can make a mean Mint Julip, a meaner bourbon brownie, and get all the guys and dolls dressed up in their finest Derby duds, riding the train, looking pastel and refined and ready to cheer on the horses.

And finally got some veggies in the ground: tomatos, okra, cilantro, basil, rosemary, bush beans, marigolds, arugula, leeks, onions, strawberries, cucumbers, sweet corn.

I'm taking bets as to what grows this year...