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Saturday, May 29, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow

Well, it doesn't yet but we did make a bit of progress today.  Michael and I went to Home Depot early this morning and got the wood to build my planter box. 

We left and already, I felt triumphant, like something big was going to happen.  Excited about an afternoon shopping for vegetables, we met up with Ken and Jolee for a power breakfast at The Landing - fuel for the hard day ahead.  I had an egg white veggie omelet with avocado, rye toast and fruit.

Jolee and I left the guys and headed to the nursery.  I was really indecisive and asked the owner a million questions.   I did however learn the difference between determinate and indeterminate vegetables.  According to iVillage Garden Web:
Determinate varieties of tomatoes, also called "bush" tomatoes, are varieties that are bred to grow to a compact height (approx. 4 feet).
They stop growing when fruit sets on the terminal or top bud, ripen all their crop at or near the same time (usually over a 2 week period), and then die.
They may require a limited amount of caging and/or staking for support, should NOT be pruned or "suckered" as it severely reduces the crop, and will perform relatively well in a container (minimum size of 5-6 gallon). Examples are: Rutgers, Roma, Celebrity (called a semi-determinate by some), and Marglobe.
Indeterminate varieties of tomatoes are also called "vining" tomatoes. They will grow and produce fruit until killed by frost and can reach heights of up to 10 feet although 6 feet is considered the norm. They will bloom, set new fruit and ripen fruit all at the same time throughout the growing season. 

They require substantial caging and/or staking for support and pruning and the removal of suckers is practiced by many but is not mandatory. The need for it and advisability of doing it varies from region to region. Experiment and see which works best for you. Because of the need for substantial support and the size of the plants, indeterminate varieties are not usually recommended as container plants. Examples are: Big Boy, Beef Master, most "cherry" types, Early Girl, most heirloom varieties, etc.
I picked up brother and sister bookends of Big Boy and Early Girls, jalapeno peppers, tomatillo, Japanese eggplant, zucchini squash, strawberries, red onion, fennel, cucumber and a bunch of herbs.

I'm hoping everything I got will fit??

It is a very small area but I think we can make it work.  Getting home, we realized, as is the case with all home projects, we got the wrong wood and had to go back to Home Depot.  Unfortunately, this puts us back a couple of days (very important social day tomorrow!). 

As Michael worked on the deck, I got started on grilling corn for the dish I'm making for our barbecue up at Ken and Jolee's tomorrow.

Note to self.  Soak the corn longer so that it doesn't keep catching on fire.  It got really, really roasted.

I grilled chicken for dinner, scraped an ear of corn and added lime and cayenne pepper, and sliced a few wedges of a sweet potato.  It was very tasty although the picture does not do it justice. 

The broccoli however got the best of me.  In case you needed the tip, steamed broccoli stays hot longer than you think.

I burnt my lip and my tongue popping a spear of it in my mouth.  I'd show a closeup but, its just sort of gross.

I'm not sure if I should admit what I did next but since I've decided to share and open my life up like this leaving out the following detail seems like I'm cheating.

So I burn my tongue and my lip is scorched and I can feel the blister welting up.  I've thrown the broccoli across the kitchen (that showed it), and start grasping for something cool to take away the pain.  Now, you know how sometimes you hear things and you can't quite remember if what you heard was the truth or the urban myth.  If you are ever faced with a moment like this and wonder to yourself if butter will make your burn feel better.  The answer is no.  It only took a few seconds with the bar of butter pressed against my lip for me to realize that it hurt like hell.  I may as well have exfoliated my face with a salt rub or used a kerosene lip balm.  I mean it hurt.

Tea always sounds like a good idea but tonight it may not be quite as enjoyable.

My Good Earth Tea quote for tonight is:
Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself - Chinese Proverb

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