On April 11th, we planted mesclun mix and pea pods from seed. On April 29th I shared photos of our first sprouts pushing up from the soil. Yesterday, we harvested our first mesclun mix and enjoyed a lovely salad with dinner. My son, who isn't a big salad eater most of the year, devoured his. Smart boy... eating in season is the healthiest, most earth friendly way to go!
Here it is before we harvested:
We also have our first flowers on the pea pod plants, so pea pods will be here soon!
Here's a lovely head of romaine developing. I bought a "6 pack" of romaine from our local garden center and planted them about 2 1/2 weeks ago. This one will be ready in about a week.
While I was photographing the pea pod flowers, these mating dragonflies happened by. They stayed locked together like this until we went in for dinner at least 30 minutes later.
Here's a photo of our whole garden. The raised beds measure approximately 200 square feet.
You can see, I haven't mulched with the straw, yet. Maybe tomorrow! In addition to the mesclun mix and pea pods, we also planted bush beans and pole beans from seed. Then we purchased 4-packs and 6-packs of small plants for the rest. We have 6 kale, many varieties of lettuce (roughly 24 plants), many red onions, 4 tomatoes, 6 cabbages, 6 broccoli, 4 red bell peppers, 4 green bell peppers, one zucchini, 6 parsley, 4 celery, 4 eggplant, and 9 basil inside the fence. There will be 4 jalapeno peppers, 3 basil, and 4 butternut squash outside the fence. This is risky because we have hungry bunnies and woodchucks in the area, but the garden is at maximum capacity. I've found the basil usually isn't disturbed and I expect the same will be true of the hot peppers. The squash is another story. It may become lunch for the wildlife, but I have to give it a try.
The volume of plants may seem too much to you for this relatively small space, but we've planted roughly this much each year. (The only exception is the zucchini- by the end of the summer it will take over an entire corner of the garden and overflow the walkway. I train it to grow away from the other plants and just accept that my walkway will be cut off eventually). The key to such productivity is the raised beds and excellent soil quality, thanks to awesome compost from my parents' sheep maure and our own compost bin. For more information, please read The Vegetable Gardener's Bible by Edward C. Smith. Everything you need to know is in there. Trust me!
How are your vegetables coming? Did you plant in pots, in the school yard, on a rooftop, or in a backyard garden? Please share your successes and failures.
This weekend, my husband and I went to see Beautiful (the Carol King story) at The Boston Opera House.
It was a cold night, and we planned to walk to dinner and then back to the theater, so I opted to wear this gorgeous cape made by my mom. I don’t wear it often, but it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Mom made this cape for me at my request many years ago. The inspiration: the cape Tim Curry wore when he played Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers. Sure, he was a bad guy, but his cape was fabulous. I mean, no-one could make an exit like the Cardinal when he whipped that cape around.
We had a wonderful night—delicious dinner, gorgeous theater, and inspiring show. My mom used to play Carol King when I was growing up, but I didn’t know her story.
I was in nearby New Bedford, MA with my kids yesterday for their music lessons. Normally, I go upstairs with them in this wonderful old factory that has been converted to studio spaces, but yesterday was sunny and nearly 60 F (15.5 C) so I opted to stay outside in the sun. Eventually I decided to lie down and this is what I saw. It immediately made me think of Dublin.
I realized that I don’t look at the sky here as much as I did in Dublin. I always watched the rushing clouds and the changing color of the sky. If you’ve been following me long enough, you probably remember the many sky photos I posted.
Why don’t I do that here? I think it’s because the sky is a piece of nature I could always see, no matter where I was in Dublin. I could be surrounded by buildings and look up. Here in Southeast Massachusetts, I’m surrounded by nature. Somehow that has translated to me not looking up as much. I should change that.
When is told my family about this over dinner they all knew what I was talking about before I had even explained it. My daughter commented that we were always looking at the sky between the buildings at Clancy Quay (where we lived). It’s funny how this all became clear to me because I looked up yesterday.
Also, I miss Dublin.
#nature #rurallife #citylife
The weather was spectacular today. After school, my daughter and I took a hike in the woods and had fun taking photos with the setting sun. That’s me in the first photo. I balance-beamed out to the end of that fallen tree. (The ice was not safe). #nofilter #playoutside #nature
From Thursday to Sunday, I was at a writing retreat in Vermont. I find being among other book creators so inspiring that I often lose track of time and forget to go outside. Either I’m engaged in meaningful conversations about books or off on my own writing.
Today, between appointments and other commitments, I claimed a much-needed hour outside to hike, write, and reflect on my weekend.
#amwriting #nofilter #latergram
Just finished Finding Langston by @lclineransome Started bf bed last night. Had to finish this morning. Don’t be fooled by it’s slimness. It packs a whole lot of love and pain and beauty into 104 pages. Passing it to my daughter to read. #KidLit
Bog views from my walk today. #RochesterLife #nature
Went to see @katwrightkatwright @narrowscenter last night. Great show and excellent venue. Added bonus: I got to see @painternik9 show again. It’s a bit surreal to attend a concert and see illustrations from our book hanging in the gallery just outside the concert room. #FlyingDeep #livemusic
It was 20 degrees below zero F with the wind chill in New Hampshire yesterday. That didn’t stop my friend and I from taking a walk or our kids from going sledding and cross country skiing. One friend even snowshoed most of the way up Tenney Mountain. We were all fine once we bundled up. The sleds didn’t fare as well, though.
I’d like to say it’s much warmer back here in southeastern Massachusetts, but it isn’t. Brrrr. (That’s me in the purple coat, by the way).
Want to learn an instrument in the New Year? My son @dantecusolito is accepting students for guitar, ukulele, and bass. He teaches ages 5 through adult. All lessons happen at 88 Hatch St. (Hatch Street Studios) in New Bedford, MA. Please share this with anyone you know who might be interested.
Email email@example.com for more information. @southcoastlessons
It’s not all airplanes all the time over here. Sometimes @dantecusolito takes a break from building planes to build a ski bike.
Now if we would only get some snow...