Kitchen Gardening

Making Meyer Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd

I'm sure I've raved before about the incredible Meyer lemon tree that came with our house in California. It was legendary -- we couldn't keep up with its prolific production if we tried (see above). When people came over, they were given leave to pick at will, and take home as much as they could [...]

A Year Of Gardening: What I’ve Learned


Now, I know a year isn't that long, especially when you're talking about a pursuit with so many layers of knowledge, but I'm hoping I've at least had the worst of the rookie mistakes, so I can move on from there. Following, a few things that I've learned in my admittedly limited experience. I touched [...]

Look What Came In The Mail This Week


Yes, it's the (literal) seeds of my spring garden. I was reading something on A Way To Garden this week that started like this: Poor impulse control can be a real liability for the gardener in February, so shall we try together to stifle our urges to start seeds too soon, or order plants galore... [...]

That Time Of Year Again (Seed Starting!)


My husband and I had our coffee on the front porch this morning. Rocking in rocking chairs, we plotted what we wanted to get accomplished this weekend (for once, he is taking the weekend off from work). Why is this special? Because the last few weeks have been marked by icy weather, and here's what [...]

The Frost, Fall 2013


Just a few weeks ago, I was reveling in the cool temperatures of Central Texas fall, when the garden began to flourish again after the punishing heat of the summer. Tomatoes, eggplant, jalapeños and even cucumbers flowered prolifically, while my cool season plantings of bok choy and chard were coming along nicely. That's a sweet [...]

Baby Fruits — So Much Potential


Is there anything cuter than a baby cucumber? Well, I think a baby watermelon is actually much cuter. And, potentially sweeter. C'mon baby fruits! I've had the hardest time with both of these plants as they apparently need much more water than I'd been giving them (at least in our typical-for-this-time-of-year 100° temps. But now [...]

No Waste: Cooking With Sweet Potato Greens


Remember way back at the beginning of this gardening season, before daily 100-degree heat advisories set in? I had finally filled up my raised beds with soil and, lacking any other planting opportunities, I plunked some sprouting store-bought sweet potatoes in the ground in my enthusiasm. Yeah, they didn't look very promising. They got even [...]

No Waste: Capturing The Moment With Rain Barrels


In Central Texas, we've got plenty of sunshine. Also, plenty of bugs -- this time of year you feel like you're wading through a sea of grasshoppers as you walk through the yard, as they scatter with high jumps all around you. What we don't have enough of is rain. It's really quite dire. People [...]

Escalation of Hostilities


I went out to the garden the other morning to find signs of... an intruder! It has rained and some of the footprints were especially deep, like something fairly heavy, and cloven-hoofed. That liked to munch off the tops of my vegetable plants. It was unmistakable, my white-tailed enemies had encroached upon my territory. It was [...]

Homegrown Potatoes

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The last week or so, I've been scouring the Internet for information about potato diseases and pests. What, I wondered, could be causing my potato plants to wilt with leaves eventually turning yellow and brown. Could it be black leg? Blight? Magnesium deficiency? Then I started to do some math and realized that I'd planted [...]

Chop Wood, Carry Water


I'm a late convert to a pleasure that many people probably discover much earlier in their lives -- the joy of a job well done. And by job, I don't mean my day job, or any kind of pushing-paper (virtually) endeavor. I mean labor of the "chop wood, carry water" variety -- useful physical labor. [...]

“Gardening is not a rational act.”


Heard a quote today that fits perfectly into my contention that we garden despite the challenges... "Gardening is not a rational act. What matters is the immersion of the hands in the earth, that ancient ceremony of which the Pope kissing the tarmac is merely a pallid vestigial remnant. In the spring, at the end [...]

Gardening = Heartbreak


This is what my garden looked like this weekend. Wasn't it beautiful and full of promise? Notice the past tense. That's because Monday was a day that brought winds -- serious winds -- to our little corner of the world. I sat inside working with my stomach clenched, keeping myself from peeking outside until the [...]

Making Progress In The Garden


This part of the process is called "hardening off," when I take my wee precious seedlings and start putting them out into the big bad sunny windy world -- so they can get used to how life is going to be when they get planted this weekend. They're all pretty "leggy," which means their stems [...]