February 12, 2010

The Garden Begins

Well, here they are, my little artichokes are poking their first leaves out.

They will be ready for the lights this Sunday, I think. After their third set of leaves comes in I will transplant into six inch peat pots and keep them warm and fed until we can plant in the spring. I am very excited about the artichokes as that is something I grew up with. Living near the coast in California where artichokes are a huge cash crop, we passed fields and fields of them anywhere we drove. I hate paying $2 for an artichoke here. Not only are they expensive, it seems the artichokes that are marketed in this area are mainly a big round meatless variety that were grown for a decorative purpose. They are good for putting a nice dip in on a pretty buffet table, but not for getting that great, tender artichoke heart. I hope they do all right, many people tell me they've grown great artichokes here.

I set some lemon basil to germinate last weekend. They didn't waste any time coming up. I was very surprised, they popped up in only four days. It's going to smell so good when they get to growing, I love fresh herbs. Last summer I snipped fresh herbs out at our garden and just put them on the dashboard of my car. We had three kinds of basil, rosemary, thyme, lavender, and marjoram.

This weekend it's time to start some peppers. I know this only because I have been flooding my brain with information about seedlings and gardening. I really am very new at this. I am reading a very good book, The New Seed-Starters Handbook, which is walking me through the whole process. I am following her suggestions with a little advice from some of my favorite local gardeners and farmers.

So, I started these peppers today: Tequila Sunrise, Sweet Bell Peppers, and Tennessee Cheese. They are all sweet peppers. The Tequila Sunrise peppers are supposed to go from yellow to orange to red. That's going to be pretty having them at different stages with all the colors in my garden. The Tennessee Cheese peppers are something my husband found by accident last year when he stopped at a local produce stand. These are a little more flavorful than the typical red pepper, spicier, but not hot. They are firm little round balls that are perfect for stuffing and roasting. They are also about $4.99 per lb organic, I must grow my own.

Tennessee Cheese Peppers


So there have been some kinks in my day, but most of the day has been great.

There was some very bad news for a friend. But, I will make sure to give her some good attention and love.

I exercised in two twenty minute increments today. In just a week of working out a little everyday, I felt better in my clothes today.

I finished a kind of scavenger hunt I've been on for a work project, that feels good. I was a little baffled at first when handed this assignment as to where I would find the information, but it is all coming together. 

I made plane reservations to go see my sister in Tennessee in April. That's another chapter to be written here, our reunion after 25 years apart in 2000. Anyway, I have a free round trip plane ticket with SW Airlines, kind of like frequent flier miles. It only cost me $10 for a round trip ticket. Something about doing that just feels fun. I got kind of giggly when I did it. She and I will have a nice week together in the spring. I've never been to the south, I have heard it's beautiful in the spring.

I have no plans tomorrow except to go to a meeting, prepare some food for the week ahead, and work on our home with my husband in the afternoon. We just heard Robbie Laws is playing in town at a little restaurant tomorrow night, might peak in for a bit. Sunday we are off to see our son. It should be interesting going visiting at a prison on Valentine's Day. I already have in mind how we will pose for our family picture. It's the only real fun I can see having there, gotta do it.

We ended our day today sharing a lovely sashimi dinner with stir fry vegetables at a local restaurant. It was so pretty we had to take a photo. The whole plate of sashimi was arranged like a huge flower blossom. The wasabi was put in a mold and shaped into leaves. It was truly beautiful, tasty, and we didn't over-eat. In the center of this rose are two kinds of tuna, salmon, halibut, fillet of sole, cod, and octopus that was surprisingly tender. It wasn't very expensive either.

Now, I am going to enjoy some Mango Sorbet, not too much though.

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