Thursday, June 17, 2010

my garden is a freakshow...

last year’s sasquash and pukin, this year’s strawberry frutant, zambsies, dwarf kale, funambulist peas, and now the incredible two-headed zucchini flower! next i expect to see a bearded ladybug. or a potatortionist, fire-eating nasturtiums, world’s tallest dill, maybe some conjoined twin bush beans...

i’m getting annoyed with the zucchini plants. they’ve sent up dozens of male flowers, but so far not a single female.

the tightrope-walking peas are almost my height now--the ones that figured out how to climb up the second set of strings, that is. over half of them are still working on it, bending around every which way, grabbing all the wrong things and getting themselves more and more tangled.

one of the sunflower stalks already has a bud:

it’s a dwarf variety of some kind that the birds and squirrels planted for me with their birdseed. it’s only a few feet tall.

the tiger lilies are about to bloom, too.

a word of advice to anyone thinking of growing collard greens: give them tons of space. i’ve been eating A LOT of collards lately, just to keep them cut back because i didn’t allow enough room. the plants are not compact, and they get huge.

with a few more creative container additions i’m now up to 28 tomato plants in their final growing places. oh, you know i’m going for a cool 30.

the beans have all formed true leaves now...

even the lonely little blue lake bush bean is doing ok.

the pair of ducks that are always hanging out in the back yard under the bird feeder returned today with six babies. teensie tiny fuzzy cute hatchlings. it seems late in the season for such small babies, but then this spring has been so cold and’s possible (in fact likely) that boise will make it through the entire month of june without reaching 90 degrees. that’s pretty unheard of.

i don’t mind this interminable spring. it sucks for my plants, but i’m loving all the storms.

yesterday i made a BIG, 100%-home-grown salad:

with an entire head of rouge d’hiver lettuce, an entire pak choi, about a dozen buttercrunch leaves, some peas, sprouted sunflower/pea/alfalfa seeds, and nasturtiums. i was hungry.

the rouge d’hiver has been fun to grow, even though it's not very rouge anymore (it's also not hiver...i think it only rouges in the froid). i’d never tried growing a romaine type of lettuce before.

dinner tonight involved roasted local asparagus, sweet potatoes and homegrown beets, wild rice, and homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream with a sprig of chocolate mint for dessert:

this afternoon i made my first two quarts of ice cream: one vanilla and one mint chocolate chip. the vanilla is yummy, but the mint chocolate chip is indisputably the mind-blowingest deliciousest vegan ice cream i’ve ever tried. fantastic.

and the machine worked like a charm--the ice cream was done in under 15 minutes! lickety split for serious! for some reason i thought it would take hours.

i am so shamefully procrastinating right now. you can tell when my article due dates are coming up because i start blogging’s the preferred method of procrastination because i’m on the computer and typing so it feels like i’m getting something accomplished, when really it’s an evasion technique like any other. i hate deadlines, and i need deadlines, and i hate that i need deadlines... can’t i just go watch stuff grow instead?


Andrea said...

You have one of the most beautiful gardens, and the best garden photos I've seen in a long time. I can't believe you have so much growing already. And lucky you to have found that lickety Split! Can you say what recipe you used for the mint chocolate chip?

Emily said...

wow, thank you so much, andrea. and yes i’m happy to share the mint chocolate chip’s from the book “the vegan scoop” by wheeler del torro. here’s a basic rundown:


1 cup soymilk
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
2 cups soy creamer
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons peppermint extract
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips

combine 1/4 cup of the soymilk and the arrowroot powder and set aside.

mix remaining soymilk, soy creamer and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat. remove from the heat when it boils and add the soymilk/arrowroot powder, stir until it thickens a bit, then add the peppermint and vanilla extracts.

pour the mixture into the ice cream maker container and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, then process in the ice cream machine and add chocolate chips in the last few moments of processing, or stir them in while the ice cream is still semi-soft. (apparently if you add them earlier on they all settle to the bottom).

do you have an ice cream maker also? I hope you get a chance to try this recipe, it is decadent.

GoneferalinID said...

My house is always very clean when I have a deadline. That is also when I come up with a new hobby to obsess over.

JJ Beazley said...

Britain is celebrating the fact that we've manged 70 this June. A week ago it was upper fifties.

Ducklings are the greatest, aren't they? I've got lots of fledglings, too, but no ducks. I have a baby greater spotted woodpecker, though, who's much bigger than his mother.

Emily said...

goneferalinid--me too on both counts! i get so much more productive in every way except in whatever it is i need to be doing. i also sometimes get caught up in these protracted wikipedia expeditions, where suddenly i feel a deep compulsion (desperation, even) to follow a trail of links until i've consumed my fill of information about whatever random thing along with the dozens of other random things that initial thing leads to.

jeff--ducklings are the greatest indeed. sadly, the duck family in my back yard is down to just one duckling. i don't know what happened to the others but it kind of breaks my heart.

it must be fun to watch the fledglings grow up. sounds like you have quite a few bird friends...i bet you go through tons of birdseed.

JJ Beazley said...

So sad about the ducks. I know ducklings suffer a high predation rate, and it disturbs me too. Yes - seed, rolled oats and peanuts are a big protion of the weekly shop. Different species prefer different ones. It's good seeing the parent birds still feeding the youngsters, even after they've flown the nest. Young robins seem to be independent from the start, though.

Holly said...

Lovely photos! I am envious of your garden, really. I think the shot with the pea pods lined up is my fav, in spite of and because of its staging.

Emily said...

thank you holly!