Sunday, July 19, 2009

The power of leafy greens

Remember our garden? The no-expectation experimental family collaboration?

We've done pretty well:

The girls enjoy this project, it seems. They love the watering the most. E does well with picking the ripe tomatoes and she helped me harvest a cucumber.

It hasn't gone perfectly. As we guessed, we have too many plants in too little space. Also, the rabbits completely defoliated our bean plants and some smaller critters have enjoyed some of the tomatoes I wouldn't have minded keeping just for us. The yellow squash never materialized. But overall, it's a solid first-time success.

These are our tomatoes. I think they're called 'Sunshines' but that's based on memory. There was a Sunday a few weeks ago when the girls played some sort of scavenger hunt with the plant labels. It's all a guessing game now. Whatever they're called, these tomatoes are very juicy and nicely tart.

Up close, parts of this overcrowded garden are jungle-dense. Can you spot the peppers in there? I've had one so far and it was firm and sweet. I thought we planted yellow peppers, though. So I don't know if I should leave them on the stem longer. Or maybe we only planted green peppers. Or maybe we planted both but the rabbits liked one. I don't know.

This is...something flowering. I don't know what but the blossoms are beautiful. I miss my plant labels a little bit.

These are the eggplants. I'm not even the tiniest bit remorseful that nobody else in my family likes eggplant because I don't really feel like sharing, anyway.

This is a hearty little boxwood basil. It tastes like big basil, but a little more delicate, a little more minty. This is one of those plants that we have as a direct result of having the girls with me at the garden center. (E: Let's get this plant and this plant and this plant!) One day I'm going to tear this sucker down and make one amazing pesto. We also have some thriving thyme and lavendar and enough parsley for the rest of my culinary life.

And this, hiding behind the top of what I'm guessing is going to be one seriously obese red onion, is my golden sage. This plant falls in the category of "purchased to satisfy E's whim." I don't usually cook with very much sage and I've never before cooked with golden sage.

But tonight I'm planning to harvest it. The whole thing. I'm going to use it to brew a huge pot of sage tea. Three years ago when E made it clear that she had stopped nursing I remember I spent $25 at the grocery store to buy enough organic sage to make my own weaning tea.

I nursed L for the last time tonight. All weekend we told her that mamamilk was almost gone. Tonight I fed her and told her it was for the last time. I asked her to say goodbye to mamamilk. I gave her extra kisses and extra hugs and she said goodbye and went to bed with her daddy. I don't know if she really understood and I don't know how hard tomorrow will be. But she's nursed for 19 months and 8 days. And I'm 12.5 weeks pregnant. It's time to retire. There is some comfort in stopping her milk with the sage she helped me grow.

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tokatieandclaire said...

This post makes me all happy -- first of all, a backyard garden, which we were going to do this year before the vertigo hit. Second, it's thriving so much the plants are choking each other out - it looks chaotic and fun and full of life, which is completely unlike all of Texas at the moment (drought here). Third, I love the thought of L choosing her own mamamilk stopper. Very happy all around!

Ninotchka said...

Your garden is FABULOUS. Congratulations! Mine is sort of dormant right now, due to the heat. I'm hoping we'll have some fall success. There are a few things I planted late (cucumbers, sugar snap peas) that I hope will surprise us when the temperatures are a little friendlier. Stay tuned!

Kelly (conversemomma) said...

We were growing sunflowers, big, beautiful sunflowers, until Jack tried to help garden. We call that day the big sunflower masacare.

David has green thumbs, I am a killer of all house plants.

a li'l bit squishy said...

Your garden is lovely! Go girls! More congratulations about the baby! I weaned Aidan when I was about 20 weeks pregnant with Zoe. Breastfeeding and pregnancy combined were really hard for me, I was just SOOO tired and it magnified the symptoms of pregnancy. I considered tandem feeding but I really needed to stop throwing up and so I only breastfeed him until he was just past eleven months. Sad. Hope it goes smoothly, and that your hearts are soothed by your homemade tea as much as the rest of your body!