Archive for April, 2012

gathering in the spring garden

We had a lovely set of spring gatherings in the garden last weekend.  It was a great time for spring cleaning in the garden, and  be able to enjoy relaxing there.  We had done some pruning, but there was so much more to be done: weeded, cut, clipped, raked, swept.  And I’m not talking about finely manicured, just a basic level of tidiness – such that you could walk down one of the paths without getting pushed or punctured by roses or lavender, or slip on a gross grapefruit (or 2 or 10).  Thanks to a lot of hard work (and gratitude for some help we got), the garden is looking lovely, with roses, calla lilies, and wisteria blooming, along with the potatoes, peas and favas.  It was lovely to celebrate Spring’s renewal with friends and neighbors.


my favorite dirty word

………is compost.  Many cringe or get squirmy at the thought.  And please don’t look at the following pictures if you think they will present a problem.  But now that I have spent years perfecting(?) my approach, my visits to my compost pile bring me more joy than you might ever think.  Sometimes I just add the pail to the pile and walk away, but typically I fill the pail slowly with rainwater (from the rainbarrel) while I rake up some decaying leaves – which are plentiful in my garden.  I then add the leaves to the pile, and pour the rainwater on top.

If I have a little more time, I visit with my worms.  I take my favorite fork and turn the pile, hunting for the squirmy worms and other bugs and organisms in the compost, teeming with life.  I find the worms to be the PERFECT pet – no training or cleaning up required.  They just quietly do their thing, and turn our garbage into the most amazing soil for our garden.




using our grapefruits

We have a giant grapefruit tree.  It is one of the only things that stood in the lot when we bought our place – that and a lot of weeds and a funky old building.  The tree is huge, and the grapefruits are plentiful any time of year.  Only they are quite sour, bitter really, mouth-puckeringly bitter in fact.  They make the inside of your mouth feel fuzzy somehow.  We have tried various ways to use the grapefruits; my kids often have a grapefruit juice stand instead of a lemonade one.  But we have to add lots of sugar or agave or honey to make the stuff palatable.  And even then, it isn’t something I really enjoy.  And unfortunately I really DON’T like marmalade, no matter how much I try.  So when I saw the recipe for grapefruit ginger curd on Heidi Swanson’s 101 cookbooks blog several weeks ago, I took notice.  And today when the rain washed out our other plans, I knew what I wanted to do.  Out I went into the rain to pick some grapefruits, up I went to borrow an egg from our friend, and then got to making a delicious grapefruit curd.  Really lovely stuff, I love the taste and the texture.  I used only honey, and I think next time I will use a bit more, and definitely some sugar.  This time I won’t have to share with my kids; can’t wait for toast tomorrow morning, or maybe this afternoon……….