i like the cooler weather for a change, but i’m certainly not ready to let go of summer. my heat-loving plants do not appreciate the dip in temperatures--i’ve noticed slower ripening of tomatoes especially. still i was able to get a nice basket yesterday:
i used the parsley in a fresh batch of hummus then cut up a tomato and lightly pan-seared the zucchini to try to mimic a sandwich i ate at 36th street bistro the other day. actually the only element of mimicry was the way i sliced and cooked the zucchini, and it turned out just right. the resulting sandwich isn’t much of a looker but it was mighty tasty:
i thought the early bush beans finished producing, but they caught a second wind and are now back to sending out tons of beans:
these dwarf sunflowers were only supposed to grow to two feet tall--instead they range from around one foot to four feet. their coloring is nothing like the dark red/orange with black center flowers pictured on the seed packet. this from the same seed company that packaged seeds of this boring broccoli:
as romanesco calabrese. big disappointment. plus i didn’t catch the florets in time to eat them, they were already too old and bitter by the time i noticed.
two stalks whose buds were gnawed off and eaten by squirrels before they got a chance to fully bloom, now they’ve sprouted mini-flowers all along the stems.
i caught three sunflower heads before the birds/squirrels--one is already dry, and these two are now curing, safely suspended in protective netting in a location only super-determined animals would bother to raid.
i'm weird, i eat the whole thing, shell and all. no one explained the sunflower seed eating process to me when i first started snacking on them and i developed a taste for the crunchy hulls. in fact it feels wrong to eat just the soft innards.
i did more extreme pruning and found eight additional big rainbow tomatoes, for a total of ten. i hope they have time to grow big and ripen.
the ones planted in containers aren’t, but the plants themselves look healthier than the ones in the ground. this one has cumin growing around it:
which is now flowering. i came across an unsettling iranian lullaby called "sleep, sleep cumin flower." when i was a baby i used to wail whenever someone sang "oh my darling, clementine," because of the sad lyrics...i would've suffered a complete baby breakdown if someone sang that cumin flower shit to me.
this poor crane fly was stuck to a leaf on one of my pole pea vines. i think the tiny barbs on the leaf held on to its feet like velcro. it flew away after i helped it up a little.
about a week ago i started getting ready for fall planting, first by cutting down all the stalks of collard greens:
i washed, stemmed, blanched and froze all the leaves. they condense a lot after blanching, so the huge pile of greens that barely fit in my kitchen sink fit into a gallon freezer bag with room to spare.
i put in seeds last tuesday, with rows of swiss chard, kohlrabi, radishes, mache, carrots, sorrel, and two others i can’t remember right now. the swiss chard and radishes are already up.
as much as i love the idea of being able to grow summer crops year-round, i’m really glad i live in a place that experiences all four seasons properly. i have mixed feelings about the summer plants dying. i love them and i’ll mourn their passing, but i also love a clean slate...i have a tendency to accumulate things, so growing all these plants with the foreknowledge that they’ll be dead and gone in a few months has been a relief. i’m like a compulsive garden hoarder with the unavoidable fate of total land-makeover thanks to the intervention and therapy of frost. cold weather is my ruthless “organization specialist.” still, if she doesn’t wait long enough for me to emotionally part with my growing stuff, there will be consequences. she might even find me in the exact same predicament one year later.