May 25 2009

The gate


After our visit to the Farmer’s Market and Gran’s, we were inspired to do some serious outdoor work.  I moved plants, weeded and planted the flowers that we bought that morning.  Roger continued on his labor of love–the fence.  By evening, he was working on the gate.  The black hinges are lovely, and the gate is perfectly aligned.  There’s no fence mesh, but the presence of the gate dictates that we enter at the gate and at no other point.gate5-24-09

May 25 2009

At The Farmer’s Market


Sunday, Natalie and I went to the farmer’s market in downtown Baltimore.  A mob scene.  Mostly plants and lettuces being sold.  We bought a bunch of flower plants for our pots, kale for dinner, bread, eggs, and oh my! fresh local strawberries.  Every strawberry season, I swear I’ll never buy those flavorless “shipping” berries in the grocery store again.  Maybe this time it will stick.  It also got me thinking…one of those raised beds would be just perfect for a strawberry patch — easy to manage, easy to weed, and wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy them fresh from the garden.  Maybe next year.

Interesting that we buy things from the farmer’s market that we normally buy locally direct from the source.  Wonderful real whole-grain bread from the Breadery in Ellicott City, and eggs from the Hen’s Nest in New Windsor, where the normal routine is to get them from the outdoor refrigerator and put the money in the box.  We pay a little more at the farmer’s market, but it’s an infrequent pilgrimage, and worth the convenience.  Oh, we did decline to pay $5 per half-pound for green from the Gardener’s Gourmet, which is right down the street from our Uniontown house.

Below, Natalie checks out the eggs; my mother was tickled that we brought her a dozen fresh brown eggs, thought they’re still not as good as the ones I raised.  Another “next year”…


May 22 2009

Skeeter’s Produce


Skeeter’s Produce, a local vegetable stand, opens in Ijamsville on June 5.  I’m looking forward to stopping there on my way home from school.  I caught a picture of Skeeter today getting the ground ready for the beautiful sunflowers he grows each year.  skeeter

May 16 2009

A Good Day For Food


Finally, the wooden fence posts are all in around the garden.  Sorry it took so much time and whining.  But now the fence can be finished no matter the weather.  Give me two weeks.

A toad kept me company in the garden, last night when I was mulching with grass clippings (more on this great technique in a later post), and today when I was setting the posts.  The plants look pretty happy.

This evening, my beloved and I went downtown for dinner at the Helmand (eggplant, lamb, chicken, Afgan pudding with fresh fruit) and a talk and Q&A with Michael Pollan at the main Enoch Pratt library.  A good and lively session, packed — some were estimating 800 people.  I have Aimee Cardwell to thank for giving me my first Michael Pollen book, The Botany of Desire, so many years ago.  Second Nature is, of course, a favorite, because he writes so insightfully about gardening, but no one can dispute that The Omnivore’s Dilemma is his most important book to date.

Here’s a not-so-great shot of him from my iPhone, right after he signed my copy of TOD:


May 10 2009

Happy Mother’s Day!


“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts.  A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”~ Sophia Loren

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your HEART go walking around outside your body.” ~ Elizabeth Smith

Beautiful thoughts sent to me from an extraordinary mother and friend.
Happy Mother’s Day!

May 10 2009

Pavers and Planting



Roger put down the pavers for the fence line on Saturday.  I’ve been warned that Mother’s Day is really a code word for Planting Day.  Onions and lettuce are tall enough to see from the house.  Can’t finish the fence until we move the peony bush, and it’s just starting to bloom!

Roger checks the weather more often than his email.  Last night, he kept watching the sky for signs of rain and studied the full moon, wind and stars with intensity.  I’m certain now that he was a farmer in a previous life–when he starts tasting the dirt, I’m going to have him checked out. 

After nearly two weeks of gray, this day has dawned sunny and warm. I can’t wait to get started!

May 3 2009

“In Blackwater Woods”


This morning’s Writer’s Almanac poem is by Mary Oliver.  After reading some of the books in Roger’s collection and knowing that she is  a particular favorite of host Garrison Keillor, I was pleased to recognize some of her signature language, theme and style.  I love the powerful observation of the final lines. 

To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

May 3 2009

Pilgrimmage to Dana’s


My first trip to Dana’s was last spring.  When Roger invited me, I knew it was special because I remember our friend, Donna, talking about going to Dana’s to purchase spring flowers and vegetables.  I was excited, and I blasted through the greenhouses and rows of plants selecting the most eye-catching flowers for outdoor pots.

This year, our trip to Dana’s was more subdued.  Perhaps it was the weather or the downturn in the economy?  I like to think that the reason was because now I am a more seasoned plant enthusiast.  We focused on the varieties of herbs for the new garden.  I made thoughtful responses and actually studied the little tags for sun and shade, height and depth characteristics.  OK.  I admit, I fell asleep during the long drive to Dana’s, and Roger had quite a time getting me out of the car to admire tomato plants.  At least I expressed sympathetic sighs when there was no fish emulsion for purchase.  He would say, “Ah, the difference a year makes!”