22 June 2010

One fact to Summer

Spring is for idealists; summer is for realists. In Spring, one dreams of bountiful gardens and there is so much hope and promise in the air that it is intoxicating. Cautiously this spring, I tried not to over plant my garden, giving each plant it's unique and special place to grown into its own. What summer is teaching me that just didn't stick when I took it in high school biology or by watching the Lion King, is that my garden is just as much a part of the Circle of Life as anywhere else. Everybody's got to eat and that includes, the squirrels, the rabbits, the ants, the spiders, the earwigs...everybody. And everybody in my "neighborhood" has loved my garden. The ants loved my eggplant to what I am sure is their death. The squirrels have liked both the eggplant and zuchini. I'm not sure who is lovingly nibbling on the sage and basil. Luckily, some of the herbs, tomatoes and peppers still remain. I've even had new growth on my lettuce which has been nice. Yesterday I ate a salad that all came from my garden.

So in that sense, summer remains a realist. I really can eat whatever is left over (after it seems I have fed "the neighbors"). And the reality is that I got my wish. Summer came early and it has come hard. I am bracing for one long, hot season (secretly I love it and use minimal air conditioning. I only wish I worked somewhere that allowed me to wear a bathing suit or tank tops and skirts all day).

19 June 2010

Truckstop Love

The longer I live in a city, the more and more I become one of those "city people" you see stereotyped in movies. You know what I'm talking about...the shoes cannot get dirty let alone mess up the nails, constantly complaining how "far" the country really is and referring to everything as "so quaint!". So when the opportunity to reconnect with some small town roots, it always makes for a good adventure because you are bound to see something interesting along the way. Last spring, I headed up to Salisbury to see my friend Preston in a play. Now, the play made me cry (I did not research the subject matter) and I almost stood up in the middle to beat some sense into Preston's character. (It was hard to disassociate the character from Preston so I'm going to put that in the plus column for Preston's acting abilities.) Really, I was fighting my "inner Pearl" (See a future post about that) because that Howie and Becca needed a clue and I had just the perfect dose of southern medicine. This is all really beside the point.

Back to the Journey.... As much as I try, my car does not run on anything but gasoline. I'm trying to make it work on prayer, but again...that just ain't happenin'. I pull off I-85 and to a Shell Truckstop while talking to my friend Chad in Texas. Yes, I know the dangers in distracted driving, but I also know the dangers in loosing touch with those you love. Sometimes you just got to take the risk. While pumping dinosaur bones into my car, I am not but 50 yards from an honest to God Truckstop Wedding Chapel. These things I have only read about in books and seen their distant cousins in Vegas. But ya'll if you are in a pinch and just can't wait to solidify your union with the one you love on that road trip along I-85...look no further.

04 June 2010

Sometimes it is in the details

Yesterday was the dedication of the Town of Huntersville Town Clock outside of the new Town Center which is set to be open in July. Discovery Place Kids will also be located in Town Center, but it will not open until the fall.
Lake Norman-Huntersville Rotary Club saw a need and an opportunity to promote all the good things that Rotary does for our communities. If you look around your own communities you'll see those small details where Rotary has filled a gap. For Huntersville, it is also the "Welcome to Huntersville" Signs. There is a bench at a bus stop in Cornelius that was provided by Rotary. (It was a much needed and well used bench). The fountain in Marion Square in Charleston is also Rotary project. You can sit at one of the four cornerstone "tests".
Now these are just outward expressions, Rotary does a lot that doesn't require a dedication ceremony such as raising money for clean water projects, erradicating polio and various local charities. For these things, I would like to thank them and for this clock...Thanks for providing the finishing touch to this cornerstone plaza! I can't wait to see the first field trip group fill into the plaza and the teacher point at the clock to let them know how long they'll get to explore Discovery Place Kids.

02 June 2010

Warning to Cilantro Plants Everywhere---You may be sacraficed if purchased by me.

They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result, then I must be insane about cilantro. This year I planted it in the same spot as I did last year and low and behold....got the same result. A beautiful, bright green plant turned yellow and wussed out on me again. I just don't know what it needs, but I certainly want it in my garden. I thought I might try to revive it in shade as I had heard from the lady at the Bradford Store, that cilantro likes cooler weather. I think it only grows weaker. I'm not done saying good bye to freshmade salsas with my awesome tomatoes (I just know they'll be awesom when they get around to growing) or additions to cool summer salads. I'll just start the insanity over in a new location. Beward cilantro plants...I'm coming for you.

What's in the Garden

Oh how I have two supporting unpublished posts on why I want to blog about my garden, but the reason is quite simple. I think this is the only way to keep tract of what grows and what does not grow.

My lettuce season has come and gone and I ate so many salads, I was starting to think I'd not need another salad until November. Thankfully I was spared from any bunny incidents but was not spared ants. Where the lettuce grew is replaced by cantaloupe. We'll try it again this year.

I've been getting most of my plants from the Bradford Store in Huntersville with the exception of the lettuce. I like that I can ask them questions and I feel like they know what they are talking about contrary to their counter parts at Home Depot (which is more convenient, but WAY less helpful)

I've had my first cherry tomatoes arrive in red, but none of the others. I planted Sweet 100's (the cherry ones), Pink Ladies, German Johnson's and a yellow one whose name I forget. One of my neighbors gave me some late tomatoes to start so hopefully I won't have them all come in at once.

I have eggplant, but lost one of my little soldiers to squirrels digging in the garden. I have no idea how to fix that problem. Something got to the eggplant leaves, but whatever it is has moved on to another garden as the new leaves look healthy. I am going to invest in cedar oil as I heard while sitting at Thomas Street Tavern (all great advice comes from a barstool) that this was a natural way to control pests.

I have banana peppers and chocolate peppers this year. The chocolate peppers are supposed to be like red peppers.

I'm trying a bush type dill pickle and zucchini and one squash plant. With those I'll eat like a king for weeks on end.

Lastly, I have three okra plants. This will definitely be a experiment of growth and cooking because I don't know what you do with okra other than order it fried from the KW line.