• Tag Archives garlic
  • Workin’

    Beltane                                                                       Beltane Moon

    Flagged off my Latin tutor for this Friday.  Bees, garden, retreat, finishing Missing combined to soak up my good work time.  To do well at the Latin I have to have a full day; it takes me awhile to turn on the neural network that recognizes cases, remembers Ovid’s peculiarities and enjoys the play of connotation and denotation.  Once I get in that place, which may take as much as a morning, then I can translate faster, with more facility.  But.  I need that unbroken time.  Just the way I work.

    Rain kept me out of the garden last Thursday so I’ve got to out there right now and plant potatoes and chard.  The garden’s looking good, daffodils and tulips, bleeding heart and hosta, pachysandra and maiden-hair ferns greeting the strawberry blossoms, the asparagus spears, the green shafts of the allium family:  onion, shallot, garlic and the small leaves of the emerging beets.

    Today, too, is another round in the Can I keep Gertie in the yard game?  I added another wire and plan yet more moves.  I’m smarter; she’s more persistent.  An equal match so far.

  • Making Pot Pies

    Fall                                                       Waxing Autumn Moon

    We had our final straight from the garden meal last night.  Roasted potatoes, onions, fennel, carrots and a lone beet.  Raspberries for dessert.  Marinated chicken for protein, not from here.

    Today I cut up the leeks, cooked some chicken breasts, carrots, celery, peas and corn (none of these ours), and cooked the leeks in salt water for five minutes.  After shredding the chicken, a roux thickened the broth with the vegetables.  The shredded chicken went in the pie crust, then the leeks (our own), and after that the thickened broth and vegetables.

    A rolled out pie crust for a top to the pies and they went in the oven.  4 chicken/leek pot pies, frozen now, treats we can have when we get back from South America along with raspberry pie.

    Had an aha about our garden while cutting up the leeks.  We’re not feeding ourselves in any significant way with our garden, though we do eat several meals a year with our own produce and fruit.  What we can grow, and the leeks, garlic, heirloom tomatoes and heirloom potatoes are good examples, are specialty vegetables that, even if we wanted them, probably wouldn’t be available and would certainly not be available fresh from the garden.

    We preserve tomatoes, store potatoes and onions, garlic and honey.  Kate makes currant jam and wild grape jelly.  We have raspberry pies frozen and now the chicken/leek pot pies.  We also freeze chard and spinach.  Our garden supplements our diet in ways that would not be possible without it.

    It also gives us a joint project, a place we can work together, while keeping us in touch with the Great Wheel and the ways of the vegetative world.  We get a lot from our garden.

  • The Weekend

    Lughnasa                                                 Full Harvest Moon

    Kate’s out in Denver visiting the grandkids while Mark and I hold a visa watch, waiting for some word from the mysterious world of Saudi bureaucracy.

    Yesterday I took a trip to Duluth to deliver 3 pounds of honey in payment for use of the image on this year’s Artemis Honey labels.  Kenspeckle Press provided the image through a friend of Mark Odegard, Rick Allen.

    Mark turned this image into a beautiful 2011 label for Artemis Hives.  Thanks, Mark and Rick.

    Today I moved books off a bookshelf, moved the bookshelf and repositioned a weight rack.  Later I broke ground for garlic planting and split the bulbs into cloves for planting tomorrow.

    I also watched the Vikings.  How about those Vikings?  May be a short season for me.  I’m a fair weather fan.

    Latin, groceries, planting garlic.  All await tomorrow.


  • Senescence

    Lughnasa                                                    Waxing Honey Extraction Moon

    Walked in the garden alone.  Yep, it’s an old time spiritual, much loved in the churches of my youth.  It also describes my morning turn among our vegetables and in our orchard.

    The garlic has come out already.  The potatoes have a while yet to go.  The beans have gone from green bean material to soup beans, waiting now for the pods to dry on the vine.  A few onions remain, as for the tomatoes, there are a lot of possibilities, but as the weather cools, will they ripen?  In the orchard we’ve had more productivity than any year so far, a few cherries, lots of currants, many dropped plums, but a few now maturing on the tree.  The apples, in their plastic sandwich bags, have begun to swell on the honeycrisp tree, but on the other, a green apple, they’re not a lot bigger than when the bags went on in July.  Our blueberries came and disappeared into the mouths of birds.

    The wild grape harvest looks like it will be a big one this year.  These vines are everywhere on our property, but the ones that produce the most fruit hang in dense layers over the northern fence that fronts our orchard.  Picking the wild grapes usually marks the end of the gardening year here at Artemis Hives and Gardens, at least the food gardening.

    The fall flowers of course begin to bloom then, the asters, the mums, the monkshod, the clematis.  It’s also the time to plant bulbs, tulips and daffodils, lilies and croci. It is, too, the time that the garlic bulbs harvested in July, yield up cloves from the largest bulbs for planting.  I like planting the garlic in late August, early September.  Garlic is a counter culture crop, sown in the fall and harvested mid-summer.

    Senescence has fascinated me for a long time.  Earlier in my life the process of degradation that rotted wood, turned leaves into humus and prepared more soil got my attention.  An early interest, I suppose, in the great chain of being (note the lower case here, less Scholastic, more Great Wheel).   Now I’ve noticed another key aspect of senescence; it is the time of harvest.  Yes, in the plant world, the dying of the plant’s above earth body follows or is in step with the giving of its fruit.  That is, aging produces

    This is also the time when gardening begins to wane in interest for me.  My energies now turn to novels, research for tours at the MIA, preparing for the fall issue selection process at the Sierra Club and the upcoming legislative session.

    Now, too, the cruise, which begins in October, looms closer and the loose ends for it need to be tidied.  The Brazilian visa.  New luggage.  Check the clothes.  Rent a tux. (yes.  I’m gonna do it.  3 formal nights a week on the cruise.  i’ll pretend it’s halloween every one of those nights.  i’ll be some seriously weird expatriate Muscovite on the run from Putin’s secret police.  something like that.)

  • Bee Diary: July 18 2011

    Mid-Summer                                                                   Waning Honey Flow Moon

    The six new honey supers did not prove necessary since I’m still two supers ahead of each colony, but it does look like colonies 2 & 3 have already stored a lot of honey, especially in the two supers that went on in place of  the third hive box.  In colony 1, the colony I will overwinter, they seem to still be at work filling up that third hive box which will constitute their honey supply for the winter.  In 2 & 3 we will harvest the honey from the two super equivalents to that third full hive box.

    Looked at the garlic, which I’ve been harvesting as its leaves brown.  When two leaves are brown, I pull them and I have about half the crop out now. It looks like the best garlic crop I’ve ever had.  Nice fat heads.  I’ll save a couple to plant next year, continuing this garlic’s acclimatization to our soil and weather.

    We’re harvesting more frequently overall this year, getting beans, peas and lettuce before they over grow.  This part of the July is the hump part of the growing season.  From this point forward it’s either harvesting or making sure plants stay healthy until they are ready to harvest.  The bees are in mid-honey flow, storing and working like, well, like bees.

    Artemis gardens and hives is having a good year.

  • Pick and Plan Eating

    Mid-Summer                                                        Waxing Honey Flow Moon

    Kate and I have decided on a pick and plan eating method.  That is, we’ll pick fresh vegetables, then build a meal around what we have.  I picked this morning, for example, green beans, beets, golden and bull’s blood, lettuce, dill, and 7 garlic bulbs.  We still have onions from an earlier harvest, so there’s the basics for our lunch or dinner tonight.  In addition Mark has picked hundreds, maybe thousands of currants and Kate spent yesterday starting the preservation work.  She’s test drying some, making jams and jellies.  We’re well into the first significant harvest period though we have had strawberries, lettuce, kale, spinach and onions already.

    The tomatoes I started inside, which looked puny early in the season have grown tall and begun to bloom.  That means we’ll get heirloom tomatoes in addition to the two store bought plants.  Through integrated pest management I’ve beaten back the yucky scourge Colorado beetles on the potatoes .  Boy are they gross.  Little fat jabba the hut creatures until they get their wings. The leeks have begun to thicken, not much, but some.  The potatoes have blooms and that signals the beginning of tuber growth underground.  Lots of onions getting bigger, carrots, too.

    Big-Stone Mini-Golf deserves its own entry and I’ll get to that either later today or tomorrow.

  • A Reunion

    Mid-Summer                                                                                              Waning Garlic Moon

    As the garlic moon wanes, the leaves of the garlic plants begin to brown from the bottom up.  When half of them are brown, I’ll pull a couple to see how they’re progressing.  I plant more garlic than we use; for some reason it appeals to me as a crop.  Partly because you plant it in the fall and harvest it in the summer.  A contrarian.

    A Latin day today, perhaps tomorrow, too, after I see to the queen excluders in the colonies from which I removed them this weekend. I’m looking for movement of the workers up into the honey supers, starting to lay in honey there rather than in the hive boxes.

    Into the city tonight to discuss the slightly revised issue selection process for the 2012 legislature.  We’re moving up our process by a month to allow for better campaign planning, gathering of allies.

    My exercise commitment, once rock solid, has slipped in these past three weeks with many evening meetings.  I’m going to shift my workouts to the morning, see if I can get a new rhythm established.

    At the end of July my sister Mary will travel here from Athens, where she gives a paper, then reverse field back through London to Singapore.  My cousin Diane, who stood up for me when Kate and I got married, also, by chance, will be in town for another reason, so we’ll have a Keaton and an Ellis reunion right here in Andover, star of the northern burbs.  Diane lives in San Francisco where she churns out a weekly newsletter, highly regarded, on the pulp and paper industry.

  • Garlic

    Beltane                                                                      Waning Garlic Moon

    In my new names for Minnesota full moons this is the garlic moon, because under its gaze, in its waning nights, the garlic leaves will begin to die back and the garlic will  be ready to come out of the garden.  This is now my third year with garlic started from garlic bulbs I grew myself.  Garlic gradually adapts itself to your soil and climate if you keep replanting it.  Not sure how long it takes overall, but the process should be well underway.  Artemis Garlic.

    Walking the line.  Nope, not Johnny Cash, but me, trying to track down a short in our electric fence.  Found it.  An ironwood branch detached during the last round of heavy weather landed on the eastern run of our chain link fence, bending the chain down and over the electric fence.  Chain saw.  That old branch popped right off.  Since I had the chain saw warmed up, I went out to the front and pruned some of our amur maples.  They’re getting old and their limbs have begun to crack and die.

    Now I’m in here, finishing up e-mail communications and getting ready for a nap.  Kate and I have a hand-built clay class this afternoon from 1-4.  The last two days required a burst of energy.  I have to restore it now.

  • A Garden, Some Latin, Ai Weiwei

    Beltane                                                     New Last Frost Moon

    The potatoes are in the ground.  The lettuce has two leaves, as does the spinach, a few beets have emerged.  The leeks look a bit droopy, but they’ll pick up.  The garlic is well over 6 inches now as it makes the final push for harvest in late June, early July.  None of the carrots have germinated yet and most of the beets have not either. The onion sets we planted havecropped-free-ai-weiwei mostly begun to show green.  The bees show up now around the property, working as we do, tending the plants in their own, intimate way.  The gooseberries we transplanted look very healthy.  The daffodils are a carpet of yellow and white.  A few scylla out front brighten up the walk with their blue.

    Most of today went into Diana and Actaeon.  I’m down to verse 227, the finish line is 250.  I’m close and moving faster now than I was.  One of the things I’ve learned is that doing this at a pace which would allow you to complete a project in a reasonable time frame would require real skill.  I’m a hobby Ovidist, to be a Latin scholar would take decades.  Who knows though?  I might make it.  When I finish this first tale in the Metamorphosis, I’m going to have some kind of celebration.

    Buddy Mark Odegard has come up with three remarkable designs for a Free Ai Weiwei t-shirt.   Here’s an example and the one most seem to prefer:

  • Nix Still Comes Down…Geesh

    Imbolc                                                       Waning Bridgit Moon

    This has been a nix two-day event.  The Woolly’s, for the first time I recall, canceled.  Too little parking around Charlie Haislet’s condo.

    The days events scattered around me, I never quite got traction, feel a little down.  Nothing bad, just wheels spinning.  Don’t like it.

    The snow-blower, which needs a tune-up, chugged, coughed and sputtered, but worked long enough to blow the snow off the sidewalk.  I was glad.  This was too heavy for a shoveling session.

    Kate and I do plan to join the Y here after I get back from Blue Cloud.  I’m after a personal trainer to get a resistance work out going again, plus I’m going to do my first Pilates and attend a bodyflow class that uses a combination of Tai-Chi, yoga and Pilates.  Sounds fun to me.  I’m deconditioned right now when it comes to muscle mass, so shoveling the walk would have hurt.  My aerobic conditioning is fine, no heart attack likely, but a lot of back and shoulder ache.  Looking forward to getting back to resistance work.

    So, I’m gonna workout then roast a chicken with garlic cloves under its skin and onions on the inside.  These are our garlic and onions, still useful this far into the season.  I’m also going to use some canned beans from 2007.  A little bulgur and we’ll have a meal.