The basil, which I planted in July, took a little longer to grow in the cooler monsoon weather. The plants certainly don't grow as tall here as they did in the warmer, wetter climate of southeastern Louisiana. Next year I'm going to try growing a few basil plants in our greenhouse, where this summer and last, tomato plants have pushed against the ceiling and walls, making the greenhouse a maze to negotiate. Later I plan to make some pesto with basil that I picked yesterday and today; the plants are beginning to bloom, but I've been pinching the blooms, hoping to encourage more growth in the last warm days of late summer.
I am very happy with my kitchen garden, which took a little while to take off in the cooler weather of spring and early summer. We will see if any of the perennials--rosemary, oregano, thyme, mint--will survive the winter.
|kitchen garden in back yard|
|basil, orange mint, rosemary in kitchen garden|
|peppers, oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, tarragon in kitchen garden|
|sunflower surprise--Winds blew down one plant, but it continued to bloom|
This past weekend I dug the potatoes that Tom planted in the early summer. The harvest was not quite as large as we had hoped from the one row that Tom planted of white potatoes he bought at a nursery in a nearby town and the few red potatoes he planted from a grocery purchase that had sprouted in our pantry. However, those white potatoes are very tasty cooked with the purple snap beans we planted. I add sauteed onions and garlic to peeled and diced potatoes and snap beans and just barely cover with homemade vegetable stock, cooking until the potatoes are soft and the beans still slightly chewy. Tonight I think I'll cook the potatoes with dill from my kitchen garden.
|The potato digging begins.|
|the first pail of white potatoes|
Gardening ..... good for...
Enough at summer's end
(from my journal)
Cassie the cat chews on leaves of blue grama
in the shade of a pear tree planted
by a previous owner undaunted by 12-inch annual precipitation
in this Round Valley of volcanic mountains and ancient ridges of lava flows.
The leaves of cowpen daisy shrivel in the dry approaching fall,
summer's monsoon now a memory of moisture.
Cassie curls up in soft mounds of last year's hay I scattered
to mulch the wilder area of our backyard,
flags of blue grama waving above her in the breeze.
Her ears twitch at every sound--a neighbor's truck slipping into a covered drive,
a bird calling from a nearby, summer-long unmowed yard,
a small dog barking, and the dry whir of grasshopper wings.
As I sit here the pain in my jaw recedes,
a lifetime of teeth problems willed away by quiet beauty.
For a little while, this moment, this blue sky, these fading flowers,
and the companionship of a shade camouflaged cat....