Thursday, July 14, 2011

stopping to smell the flowers

i took this photo in june.  my daughter loves flowers.  i love that she loves flowers.
 It's the middle of the gardening season.  The leafy greens have bolted and the tomatoes and peppers and squash aren't ready just yet.  A good time to take a deep breath, kick back, and smell the roses.  Or have a beer.  Maybe both.

There was a big brouhaha this week over a front yard garden in a suburb of Detroit (and it's always the suburbs where this seems to happen).  Julie Bass was threatened with 93 days in jail for growing veggies in neat little raised beds in front of her house, surrounded with much.  Apparently it didn't meet community standards. 

Fortunately, the charges against Julie have apparently been dropped. The outcry from the gardening world may have worn them down- or they just came to their senses- who knows?

Meanwhile, in the big city just to the west of St. Paul, William Hunter Duncan is still fighting a low-grade battle with the city to keep his veggie garden and fruiting boulevards.  See his garden here

Hunter's garden has a bit of everything in a typical smallish city lot.  Black caps, wild cherries, tomatoes and potatoes, grapes, even some wild strawberries which are incredibly delicious and of which I am slightly envious.

It's all a bit wild and wooly, but beautiful in a rangy way.   The neighbors, or at least one of them have complained and the city has responded with a trudging, stumbling campaign of harassment- which is funny to read about, but probably not so funny for him to have to deal with.

Apparently they charged him $131 to have a city crew come and remove a goldenrod flower that had flopped down into the city sidewalk.  Now they want to have him replace his driveway, after he removed the portion of it that connected the main portion of the driveway to the curb.  The curb.  You couldn't back off of it if you tried- at least not without removing your muffler suddenly.  Oh- and he doesn't own a car.

The city of Minneapolis is more progressive than most of the suburbs-  I'll give them that.  But not by a lot.

I suppose I could rant about lawns and the American ideal of a useless green sward surrounding every house set back well away from the street, but I'll save that for another day.  I want to smell the roses today.

chives, pea pods, garlic scapes, zucchini, kale
Even in mid-season there's good stuff to be had in the garden.  These are ingredients I put together for a stir-fry the other day.  The pea pods are fantastic for stir fry if you can get them before the kids do.

I came home from work the other day, and our two kids were in the back yard with two of the neighbor kids, and they were all eating pea pods.  Kids voluntarily eating vegetables- as much as they could fit in their little hands-- without any sort of coercion!  A beautiful thing.  I couldn't be mad about it.  I pretended to be a little bit, so they'd want to go back for more later.

There were still plenty left for stir fry.  Chives have been coming since May, so I cut some of those, the kale is starting to be harvestable, garlic scapes (the curled top part of the garlic plant that would eventually bloom) are at their peak now, and I picked the first little zucchini, only about 4 inches long, and chopped that up as well.

With some shrimp, fried tofu, lime, fish sauce and a bit of salsa it was delicious.  Makes me hungry now just thinking about it.

Got a recipe for what you've got fruiting right now?  Post a comment- I'd love to hear about it.

1 comment:

  1. My recipe is my neighbor, who picked about a gallon of my blackberries and made jam. We'll share it. Put two quarts of picked berries in the freezer today. My clothes were soaked by the time I was done. They're going to be great in February.

    Thanks for the shout out.

    William Hunter Duncan