Monday, 23 May 2016 | 16 comments
I did my first, real-deal season-extending gardening this year. This means that as opposed to planting things in the spring, I actually planted them in October and protected them as they slowly grew through the winter. By the time spring rolled around, we had mature lettuce and leafy greens earlier in the year than we’ve ever had them before, which is great, in some ways, but has also started to weird me out a little. We tend to think of leafy things as tender, young, springy food, but the lettuce I am harvesting is eight months old. Kind of crazy, right?
Thursday, 1 October 2015 | 13 comments
I arrived home from Botswana to full-on fall. No matter how how much of a jaded, ungrateful traveller I become, I don’t think the whole other-side-of-the-planet thing will ever get old. One day, you’re sweating it out in the southern part of the African continent, in the country that is seventy percent Kalahari Desert, in a city that gets eleven inches of rain per year. After thirty hours hurtling around in metal tubes, you begin descent into the mid-Atlantic U.S., the first pops of orange and red flashing up at you from the ground. Stepping out of the airport, your hair curls from the damp. It smells like dead leaves. A hurricane is coming. What a world.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 | 25 comments
It’s been awhile since I’ve been back to east Africa. It’s a place that once wholly captured me. I thought I would never come back. Last night, instead of packing, I found myself sorting through my photos from a few years ago to give you a taste (if you’ve never been to Kenya or Tanzania or Uganda)–of how diverse and gorgeous it is.
Sunday, 2 October 2011 | 52 comments
As a gardener, this time of year is just plain nice. My autumn garden has barely been put into the ground, so there’s no real stress involved yet. But there are still fruits coming in; you just have to be alert enough to pick them—-a few errant cherry tomatoes, some dried bean pods lingering, and one stubborn yellow squash vine that is convinced it’s still July. The dark horse winner of my garden this year has been collard greens (the variety is “Champion”, so perhaps I should have expected that?).I’ve been eating these collards for awhile now, but they just keep on coming as I harvest them. There are only so many ways to eat greens, you know? » Click to read more
Sunday, 21 August 2011 | 9 comments
My friend Meghan tells me I’m unfit for survival, because I love all things bitter and astringent (her rationale being that through history, a bitter taste has signalled poison, and that we have evolved to dislike that taste accordingly as a survival mechanism). Black coffee, tannic wine, vinegars, and chocolate with a high cacao to sugar ratio—these are among my pantry staples.Bitter greens are no exception. Luckily for me, kale, chard, lettuces, and other bitter greens are something I can grow myself in my small city backyard. My garden is putting out some wonderful ruffly-edged collards right now (yes, they survived the slug-pocalypse). The fantastically talented artist/blogger/letterpress-er/gardener Heather Smith Jones, one of the ladies behind the collaborative blog tend, recently asked me to contribute a guest post. With these collards coming in, I thought I’d chat a bit about the realities and rewards of growing things in a tiny city garden. You’ll find the recipe, along with more photos and thoughts, over there. (And so much thanks to Heather and all the ladies of tend–I’m honored they thought to include me in their week of guest posters.)