Catching Up

I started my new job today. This was immediately (and I do mean immediately — maybe even simultaneously) preceded by turning in a draft of my thesis. Phew. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks.


There really is a summer this year. It’s finally been warmer and I’ve gotten the obligatory first sunburn. (Say what you will about skin cancer – my self esteem is way higher when I am wearing a nice summer bronze.) The garden is responding to the heat. Check out today’s haul:


Yum. I have been obsessively eating the yellow squash using my mother’s ‘recipe’ lately. It involves steaming the squash until it’s a translucent, falling-apart mess, then adding butter and salt and pepper. Saturday we had guests and I infused the butter with fresh rosemary first. Did I mention, yum? I also made my first batch of pickles, which will soon be taste-tested.

The old soapstone sink that serves as the kitchen/herb garden (remember the radishes?) has exploded into a forest of long-forgotten self-seeded herbs and a few annual lettuces. It’s a gorgeous gaggle of green.



I called into a radio show for the first time last week. I got on air on The Point with Mindy Todd (hell-ooooo, NPR NERD) when she was taking gardening questions. (I have no idea where in the podcast you’ll find my question — and frankly I don’t want to ever hear my dreadful voice recorded and archived.) I wanted to know what I could plant this late in the season to fill in the spaces left by things that have died or been harvested. The lovely lady from the Barnstable County Cooperative Extension told me that a wide array of crops could still be planted – they just needed to be quick-growing, heat tolerant, and frost tolerant if maturing past 90 days. So this weekend I planted some more kale, chard, and lettuce. Going to try to find some cabbage seedlings too – they are the kings of frost tolerance. And more carrots.

I’ve been picking cucumbers, summer and crookneck squash, chard, lettuce, the tail end of the late batch of snap peas, broccoli, and the occasional early bearer tomato. The green beans are blooming, and there are fist-sized beets. My tomato plants are loaded with green tomatoes, but only the 4th of July plants my father started are bearing ripening fruit. All the moisture has brought on a ton of blight, and I’m not the only one cursing it. I’m hoping to control it by picking off the yellowing leaves, and that I can still get a good harvest. I am amazed that even the seedlings I started myself are bearing green fruit! I didn’t have much faith in the wimpy things when I set them in beside my dad’s monster seedlings. I have Delicious, Plum, Super Tasty, Cherokee Purple, Siberian Galina, the striped, heart-stopping Tigrella, Paul Robeson, and a yellow pear variety. Did you know the Paul Robeson is named after a renowned human rights activist and opera singer? Heirloom veggies are so cool.


The meat birds (or ‘meatheads’ as I have recently christened them) are halfway through their brief lives. They’re dumb as rocks and no longer even a smidgen cute. The Hunter is threatening to harvest them as Cornish game hens. I’m trying to teach him patience. They are a lot of work through. They tip over their food and stomp on it, wasting the stuff and causing a constant conundrum of feed receptacle engineering. They’re developing attitude.


A week or two ago they had a visitor. A Meleagris gallopavo visited the yard and hung out for the day. She was quite content to clean up the meathead feed from where they had been moved (she apparently didn’t mind that it had been stomped on) and roost in the garden and on top of the chicken coop. She was quite lovely.


The layers were a little unsure of her at first, but soon grew comfortable and even interacted with her a bit. Here’s a shot I got of all three types of bird in one frame:


The turkey is hard to make out but she’s there. (The meatheads have doubled in size since these were taken, by the way.) And the Plymouth Rock is my favorite layer: her name is Ian. She’s the smartest chicken of the bunch. She’s the only one who will fly over the fence into the dog yard because she knows there’s birdseed to be had (or handouts from me while sitting on the porch). Maybe that actually makes her stupid (since my dog is a known chicken killer) but I tend to think it’s endearing. And the Mutt is learning to leave her alone.


Next week I start the travel schedule. It remains to be seen how I will handle the garden when I’m not around as much. Right now it’s hard to keep on top of things when I’m here everyday, so who knows how it will go when I’m gone 4-5 days a week. But I’m looking forward to the new adventure; checking out a new seaside town and learning the ropes of sea scallop management. Wish me luck!

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This is an article that was posted on Jul 20, 11:43 PM.

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Comment [4]

  1. Amanda Christiansen Jul 21, 11:56 AM

    My mother makes squash the same way, but she boils instead of steams them. I agree, yummy! I love your commentary on the “meatheads” and the fact that Nate is called “the hunter”. ..makes this tired mom lol!

  2. melissa averinos Jul 21, 12:40 PM

    lovely post, my dear. I am so envious of your bounty! I put in my tomatoes way too late, and i’m sure they were a fraction of the size of yours when you put yours in! Next year, can your dad hook me up , too? I will pay in shoulder rubs (for you, not him, n o offense).

  3. micheLLe syLvester Jul 21, 02:06 PM

    your garden sounds fantastic! i like the sound of your squash recipe with the infused butter, yum!

  4. mom Jul 24, 12:20 PM

    the summer squash is also delicious sauteed in olive oil with some onions, zucchini, peppers, garlic and anything else you might like to toss in. melt a little shredded cheese on top too, if you like.

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