Archive for Gardening

Indigo Rose Tomatoes in my Garden

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I don’t even know where this plant came from in my garden…but it is thriving and very unique!  Since I know nothing about it, I researched it online. I found out it was bred specifically to be high in antioxidants at Oregon State University. Supposedly, I will know when it is ripe because the deep ultra purple color will turn a rusty purple color and it will be soft, just like any other ripe tomato. The color inside should be red and the flavor hasn’t been mentioned as any thing special. More to come in a few weeks!

My Homegrown Organic Heirloom Tomatoes Make Me Fat & Happy

Homegrown organic (very important!!!) tomato with mayonnaise: hold the bread!

I’ve been a card-carrying vegetarian since I was 18. Ok, there have been a few exceptions (meals at moms-would never argue about home cooking!) and there was that beef relapse while living in Minneapolis in the 90′s. Aside from that, I’ve been pretty green and leafy for the longer (unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you view healthy eating) part of my life. I’ve also spent a similar amount of time honing my “garden skills” as a Golf Course Superintendent (27 years). Suffice to say, I like to grow plants, I believe it is the healthiest way to eat  and I have tons of experience at both.

Homegrown organic (very important!!!) tomatoes with Velveeta and lots of salt...

Interestingly enough I have found plenty of ways to counter act all this healthy eating from my very own organic garden! Not only do I layer the salt and the mayo, I’ve gone way back into my childhood and melted the Velveeta on my favorite fruits! Geeze how low can I go? Velveeta even defies food groups. So…thanks to cheese, salt and mayo I’m a few pounds heavier this September but very, very happy…By the way this years favorite heirloom variety?  Thanks to Goose Cove Gardens) is “Aunt Ginnys Purple” an heirloom beefsteak variety of German descent. One tomato (large, meaty, flavorful) is a meal in itself  – just add salt and mayo, naturally :~) And now you know how I got fat and happy eating my organically grown, heirloom tomatoes!

 

 

Goose Cove Gardens…the calm before the storm, I mean spring!

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I love to grow things (flowers, vegatables, turfgrass) and will take every opportunity to be surrounded by green things. One of my favorite places (any season) to visit on Cape Ann is Goose Cove Gardens on Gee Ave. in Gloucester.  Barbara and Hilary Dombrowski the owners, operators, founders, ceo, cfo, brains, brawn, field hands…you name it (!) exude their passion for growing plants organically every time I visit.  We have had many a conversation over the fabulous qualities of our locally produced fish fertilizer, Neptunes Harvest to Barbaras own Goose Cove Gardens’ compost tea for plants. This very early spring I paid them a visit and Barbara gave me a tour of just some of what goes on at Goose Cove Gardens long before people like you and I show up to get our annual supply of flowers and vegetables.  When Goose Cove Gardens opens on Saturday, April 16, 2011 the efforts of all their planning and work will be on display for all.  How ever, if you would like a sneak preview…

Compost crock for recycling in the kitchen

Compost crock

Redoubling our recycling efforts on many fronts, we are depositing food scraps in this beautiful crock and adding them to our compost pile.  I’m always looking for ways to add nutrition  to our tomatoe garden soil and this is another source for the compost.  Did you know that the soil “critters” (microbes) like sugar as much as we do?   In fact, I feed our plants molasses (watered down) several times a summer to make sure the soil bacteria are very happy while they do their thing… I’ve also come to appreciate the fact I’m not running our expensive Gloucester water because we are using the  garbage disposal so much less frequently, as we recycle our food scraps.  Lisa Vincent of simplydaisy custom made (!) this crock.  So, this next level of recycling is like handling a work of art every day.  And no it doesn’t smell… we empty it every 1 or 2 days and bon appetit to the compost pile!

Easy roasted tomatoes …

From our neighbor, Jayne Lacey (she’s a potter!). Great way to use up the last of the garden tomatoes.

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The China Study in Gloucester MA

Well, I just read the book and now feel like every time I eat any “animal based protein” I’m poisoning myself. Colin Campbell’s The China Study is full of testing evidence: on rats, mice and people. And it’s all spread out over more than 30 years. His story is compelling and really seems to make sense.

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Gloucester trees coming down …

Think Centennial Ave. will be ready for the Horribles Parade?

Centennial Ave Gloucester MA

Centennial Ave Gloucester MA

False Indigo


One of my favorite “vignettes” in the spring garden: False Indigo, also known as Baptisia (Amorpha fruticosa) is in the foreground with catmint (Nepeta × faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’ ) in the background.

The Trees Come Tumbling Down, An Art and a Science.

Five huge Lindens (large leaf, Tilia platyphyllos) came down on Centennial Ave. on Monday. North Shore Arborist (John Collins) did the work quickly and efficiently. What a huge crane they used! The operator was so skilled. One false move and he could have been electrocuted on the power lines 12 feet to his left! The operation had to begin after 8AM and be finished by 2PM to accommodate the high school traffic. I found it so fascinating to watch the coordination of the equipment and the skill of the arborist, John Collins. I could have watched for hours, but that wouldn’t pay the mortgage! The photo album will give you some idea of the magnitude of this operation. Looking forward it would be great to see these trees replaced with smaller species that don’t break up the sidewalks, garbage up the streets and still frame and soften the street landscape and waterscape. Two good reference’s for these choices can be found thanks to the Arnold Arboretum in Boston and the New York Parks Department.

This is not trick photography, you can’t make this stuff up




I planted my canna lily plants about a month ago.  Of course I’ve been looking only every (sometimes 2x a day) day (for 3 weeks at least) for evidence of their growth.  Then one morning I saw it!  However, I have never seen anything like this before.  Don’t even know if this happened overnight or more gradually then that.  I know the canna gets much larger then the salvia harmonium, it grew through.  I think the canna lily is going to win this one, but who knows what will happen next? Stay tuned, I know it will be hard to sleep, but I will keep you updated :)