Tuesday, May 31, 2016

P Patch: Community Garden Plots

We have a P Patch! Have you ever heard of it? It is an organic urban garden plan. Our apartment complex offered a beautiful fenced garden area with soil-filled raised bed available for rent. Isn't she a beauty? 

The photo (above; taken April 3) shows our tiny new plants tucked into our garden bed. In the back we have a tomato and a cherry tomato plant. Next is a row with lettuce, rainbow kale, lettuce. Then you see our 2 snow pea plants, set inside homemade bamboo supports. Then comes a row of rainbow carrots. We planted a row of mixed color zinnia seeds and planted nasturtiums all around the edges, so that we'll have plenty of blossoms to pick.
This photo was taken May 26 and you can now see snow pea pods hanging on our plant! We have since added a row of brussel sprout plants and a row of broccoli, along with a few peppers and a yellow squash. At the height of summer, it is going to get crowded! But we're having fun and harvesting pea pods every day!
I really enjoy the quiet walk to the garden with Dan after dinner. We check on our plants, water when needed and pick nasturtiums and pea pods every time.
It is beautiful over in the garden in the evening and we often run into neighbors tending their plot. It is a nice time to chat and talk about what we're growing. I am so thankful that our apartment offered this very civilized perk to the amenities. Swimming pools are nice, but I think gardens are everything.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Weekend: Ode to Rhubarb Crisp

The problem with my wonderful life is that I have built food traditions around holidays and seasons and that is my playbook for life. Now that I am starting to live in Seattle, I can't do what I always used to do and it feels weird.

Every Memorial Weekend for as long as I can remember, I spent time at the family cottage with my mom, dad and Dan. We would tromp around the property checking things out, looking for signs of spring and getting out rakes and shovels to start waking up the garden. Northern Michigan is slow to come out of winter and a pot of my asparagus soup always tasted good on a cool day.

Later in the weekend, we would have the Indy 500 car race on in the background and I would find myself making a hot rhubarb crisp from the rhubarb we found in the garden, often supplemented by the bounty at the local grocery store. I have done this every year for the last forever.

So how did I adjust? I made a pan of rhubarb crisp this weekend and afterwards I scooped a portion into 4 jam jars and screwed on the lid. My intent was to eat them in a park as park of a picnic, but in the end we ate them at home after a long day out in the fresh air. 

The bonus? Since we were at home, we could have a scoop of ice cream on top. This Memorial Day didn't feel like Memorial Day, but we had a nice time just the same.