• Tag Archives squash
  • The Late Summer Garden

    Lughnasa                                                          Waning Honey Extraction Moon

    Working in the late summer garden.  Those creepy pre-beetle organisms continue to gnaw on my potato plants and I gnaw right back.  So far the invasion has not gained a significant beach head thanks to soapy water and the occasional visit to prune out bugs.  Parts of the garden where harvest has happened need to be weeded and green manure sowed.  That’s a weekend task.  The onions didn’t do too well this year.  I think the bed they’re in just doesn’t get enough sun anymore.

    Our tomatoes have matured or are close, but we’ve only had a few ripe ones so far.  Too cool.

    Kate planted decorative squash.  I took some time to look at them today.  Their tendrils reach out and grasp other branches, stalks, leaves, curl around them and seal themselves off.  These tendrils though look like springs and function like springs.  They give the squash plant some give as winds and rain put tension on the various connections.  It was easy to see how a clever blacksmith could have looked at this plant and been inspired.

    With the vegetable garden in a slow period we returned to the three tiered garden in our patio area.  I worked there for an hour and a half or so this morning and it felt like being with an old friend.  I’ve spent many hours on my hands and knees among these plants, each one of which I put in the ground myself.  Well, not the trees and the dogwood, but everything else excepting Kate’s squash and zucchini.


  • Rusty Latin

    Fall                                                         Waning Harvest Moon

    Back into the Latin this morning with my tutor, Greg.  Boy, I got rusty in just two months off.  This language stuff requires constant attention.  When I went through college and sem, I took courses that I could set aside for weeks at a time, do a reading and note review in one big gulp, then be fine for a mid-term or a final.  I can’t do that with Latin.  It’s probably why I never learned a language.  The repeated application just didn’t suit the style I brought to learning.  Now, older, I’m more methodical, more patient with myself and feel no pressure for a grade.  Makes the process better, though not simpler.

    So.  This ends the intellectually demanding week I’ve had since Tuesday morning.  Whew.  A bit of let down now, a kick back and read.  Then, I’m going to pick up the Latin again this afternoon after the nap.  Strike while the mental iron is still hot.

    The weekend will see me finishing the bulb planting-24 tulips, harvesting carrots and beets and leeks and squash, maybe even some more greens.  I’ll also get the bees ready for their cardboard wraps, though I won’t put them on until sometime in November.

  • Grounded

    Lughnasa                               Waxing Back to School Moon

    Finished digging the potatoes.  The crop seems smaller than last year’s, but I can’t tell for sure.  Still, we don’t eat potatoes often and we have enough to last us quite awhile.  Kate made an early autumn roast vegetable medley with onions, carrots, leaks, garlic, beets and one potato I pierced with the spading fork.  It was delicious.  So was the raspberry pie–of which we have two.  Our raspberry bushes have been exuberant.  We’ve still got leeks, greens, beets, carrots and squash in the ground.  Some of it will stay in the ground until the frost and freeze gets serious.  I made a mistake last year with the carrots and didn’t get them out before the ground froze.  They became organic matter for the soil.  We also left our entire potato crop out in our garage stair well.  When the temps dropped down, way down, the potatoes froze, then thawed.  Not good for potatoes.  We’re trying to not make those mistakes this year.  We’ll make new ones!

    Working with Leslie today reminded me of the punch there is in ministry.  Yes, the institutional confines squeeze life out of faith, but the individuals, the people can put it back.  She asked me an interesting question.  We got to talking about Christianity and she wondered, “Do you miss it?”  I’m not sure anyone has asked just that question of me.  I don’t, not at a faith level.

    I miss the thick web of relationships I once had there.  I miss the opportunity to do bible study.  That may sound strange, but higher criticism of the bible is a scholarly affair requiring history, language, knowledge of mythology and tradition, sensitivity to redactors (editors), an awareness of textual differences, as well as a knowledge of the bible as a whole.  I spent a lot of time learning biblical criticism and I enjoyed it.  Not much call for it in UU or humanist circles though.

    By the time my nap finished it was too late to put the shims in the hives.  I hope there’s some clear, sunny time tomorrow.  Also need to put the feeder back on the package colony.

    The Vikings.  Not sure.  Favre needs some better wide receivers, yes.  The defense played well.  Adrian Peterson did, too.  It felt as if we were outcoached the last two games.  Not sure about that, that’s a murky area to me, but something doesn’t feel quite right.

  • Planting Done As Planting Moon Wanes

    Beltane                                              Waning Planting Moon

    Almost all of the seeds and transplants have gone in the ground with the exception of succession plantings of beets, lettuce and carrots.  I have butternut squash to plant and that will go in today.  After this point, the key lies in mulch, weed control, water, plant management (pinching, pruning), continuation of integrated pest management and regular attention.

    This means I have time now for the flowers, the poor flowers which have suffered from my inattention, crowded out by grass, not dead-headed and generally neglected.  Starting yesterday I’m working on that.

    A little time this morning in the tiered perennial garden just to my right outside the patio doors, then into Wheelock for chapter 17.  I realized yesterday that I’m four months or so into re-learning Latin and have already begun the task for which I took this up in the first place, the translation of Metamorphosis.  It’s nice to be able to learn and work on the translation at the same time.  It’s motivating.

    I’ve said here that my goal is translation of the Metamorphosis, but that’s only the vehicle for my true purpose.  Ovid’s many recountings of transformations occasioned by the Gods and by exigent circumstances in human lives has served for centuries as the chief repository of Greek myth.  What I want most of all is to integrate Ovid’s sensibility about transformation, mutation, metamorphosis into my own thought and apply the lesson in my own writing.

    Before that I have to work on transforming my weedy flower beds back into their former beauty.  Bye for now.

  • Laying Food By

    78  bar rises 29.99  4mph N dew-point 56  sunrise 6:03 sunset 8:34  Lughnasa

    Waxing Crescent of the Corn Moon

    “The rest of the beans will dry on the plants!” Kate said yesterday, her brow perspiring from work over a hot pressure canner.  Yes, the beans produce and produce and produce.  Canned green beans now stock our larder, companions to the tomatoes, pickles, jams and assorted other 19th century farm food self lay-bys she has made.  The beans which dry on the plant will get picked after the plant itself dies and the pods begin to crack open a bit.

    Later, as the snow flies, we’ll take those pods and thresh them, pick out the dried beans and pop them in hermetic glass jars.  Soups and other bean dishes to follow.

    With the first harvest festival already past the garden goes into overdrive, testing the patience of even Kate, a long time canner and freezer.  Tomatoes and cucumbers have begun to pop out and ripen, the spaghetti squash has several fruits on the way, the peppers have begun the slow process of maturation and a second crop of beets has about six inches of greens up already.  This is when the sweat and the soil preparation and the weeding and pruning all begin to yield results.  A good time.

    The hemerocallis, likewise, are in their glory:  many shades of purple in the front, orange and reds and yellows in the back and in the park.  Of course, I wonder how the garden will look when the Woollies come in two weeks.  I can’t recall that week from years past, but I imagine the daylilies will still be blooming and perhaps the clematis bushes will have begun to flower. I forget to mention here the begonias and geraniums, the sturdy plants that overwinter in the basement, moving happily outside after the last frost.  They add color and texture to the garden.

    Up late today, so I’ve got to get to Heresy Moves West.  Bye for now.

  • One Slice Covers a Salad Plate

    82 bar falls 29.66 1mph E dew-point 73  sunrise 5:55 sunset 8:43 Summer

    Waning Crescent of the Thunder Moon

    Dead headed the lilium today, their bloom period is almost past.  Buddhists say flowers get their beauty from their transience.  Makes sense.  The flower symphony I outlined a few posts ago honors this notion, seeing the transience as  beautiful.  The hemerocallis, or day lilies have begun to come into their own, vigorous and bountiful.  Their multi-colored, short-lived flowers will grace our garden for some time.

    The acorn squash plant that had designs on much of the area in its not so immediate surround had to give up some of its space today.  While cutting back the vine, I harvested squash blossoms for soup or salad.  This vine has small prickles on it, stay away signals.

    Kate harvested four of the Cherokee Purple tomatoes yesterday.  They are huge.  They taste sweet, a subtle flavor with undertones.  One slice covered the bottom of the salad plate on which I put it.  The heirlooms have a different feel, a different texture on the palette.  Sort of like eating history.  I imagine pioneers or turn of the century farmers plucking these giants and serving them up just as I did, slice after slice with a little salt and pepper, no need for garnish.

    The corn, some of it, has tassles.  With tassles, ears of corn are not far behind.  This is Country Gentelmen, a shoe peg white corn with irregular kernels.  The beans planted in the space between their rows flourish, too, as do the second planting of beets in the bed now vacated by the garlic.  Today, too, I plan to dig up all the onions and put them on a large screen to dry, then bag.  There are a lot of onions.