Salad Days

I think I’ve eaten more salad this past week than I have in a year. That’s what happens when you’ve got tasty greens in the garden that need to be eaten (as well as a giant sack of romaine from the farmers’ market). Between a rotisserie chicken and leftover chicken nuggets, I always had some protein in there too.

I also bought some mozzarella and crusty bread so I could use my home-grown basil and have a caprese sandwich — minus the tomato. I don’t like tomatoes. I infused some olive oil with garlic, spread it on the bread, topped it with the cheese, basil cut right that minute, and some arugula as well. Heavenly!

Mmmm, so good I made it again for lunch the next day too.

Major milestone in the garden this week: I planted the tomato seedlings. My younger son, when he saw them, said, “This garden looks GREAT!” It does look like a real garden. I divided it into 16 squares that are a square foot each, and placed the tomatoes in a sort of pattern. The extra plots will be filled in with basil and maybe the peppers.

That pod thingy is one of a bunch my friend J. gave me for my birthday. Boy they are easy. Just pop ’em in and water them.

I started using the soaker hose in this bed (with the extra hose length bunched into the kids’ wagon to catch the extra water). Works well and it’s nice to turn it on and walk away. (Now taking bets on how long it’ll be before I leave it on overnight by accident.)

It’s Memorial Day Weekend. Yesterday (Saturday) I ran our school’s dunk tank at our town’s May Fair, a very big festival (50,000 + attendees) of food, music, kiddie rides, crafters, etc. My son kindly woke me up at 5, so I was certainly ready when it came time to set up around 7 am. Except for a brief run home to get my kids and bring them back, I was at the fair in the 90-degree heat til 5 pm. I couldn’t drink water fast enough; I could feel it evaporating right out of my pores. Finally, at 4 pm, it was my turn to get in the tank and be dunked. Instant refreshment! I’ll be sure to put myself in the tank earlier next year. It really was a fun day: talking to everyone who came by the booth, heckling the crowd to get them to want to dunk the dunkee. My parents had a nice BBQ afterwards so I got to eat, relax, and dry off.

Today is about relaxing, catching up around the house, and gardening. It’s still hot and sunny but storms are coming in tonight. I was out there already today watering everything, harvesting/thinning the Butter King lettuce, starting to thin out the carrots, and guiding the bean vines onto the fence. I want to plant more herbs, start flower seeds in pots, and finish the pumpkin bed. Hubby and I got the roots out and it just needs dirt and seeds now. I noticed that while the arugula did grow more leaves after I cut the bolts off last week, it’s now bolting again. So I cut them off again. No, you shan’t go to seed yet. I’m the boss here.

The kids were next door playing on the neighbors’ blowup water slide so they were out of my hair for a while.

I took a walk last week and took some pictures of pretty flowers in the neighborhood. Also found some interesting little berries. Not sure what they are? I’ve seen them before, but not in a while.

There have been plans in the works for a while to start a community garden on some empty land at the end of my street, and on Friday the fence construction started! Very exciting. Hoping to have a “garden club” at school next year that will have a plot there.

I didn’t get to go to the farmers’ market because of May Fair. I could try to catch the Wednesday one in the next town over this week. While in Wegmans on Friday, I saw all the California strawberries and thought, where are all the Jersey ones? They are at the farmers’ markets; I see the “pick-your-own” places advertising. I suppose that since Jersey can’t supply them year-round, the contract gets awarded to the CA growers (like Driscoll’s, that’s the brand I usually see), who can, more or less. Just seems so weird.


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