Thursday, June 30, 2011

How Industrial Farming 'Destroyed' the Tasty Tomato

Here's a revealing and discouraging story from NPR about the tomato growing industry in Florida.
Just more compelling evidence for growing your own if you can.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fruits and Flowers

Temperatures remain cooler than normal, but happy things are beginning to happen in the garden. Here is the first strawberry of the season. I probably should have waited one more day for optimal ripeness, but I didn't. It was delicious.

And apples have set on 2 out of the 3 trees. These are Empire.

Below is the view under the gorgeous canopy of my neighbor's kiwi plants. The flowers have a rich, heady fragrance and open facing downwards. Theses are ancient plants, one male and one female who reach across a trellis to embrace and share pollen, with the help of industrious bees.

The loads of flowers look promising, but we had the same abundance of blooms last year and all that promise produced not even one kiwi fruit. We think that cold caused the blossoms to drop before they had a chance to be transformed into fruit. So we will enjoy the flowers now and watch carefully to see if we will get fruit this year.

And I couldn't resist including a portrait of one of my beloved peonies. Not edible, not practical, but richly nourishing to the soul.

In other news we have begun a small remodel on the farmhouse. And by farmhouse I mean our vinyl clad double wide, with a big ole garage right up front. The first phase is complete. The old fireplace, which sat astride a corner of the room and was framed in a hulking, dark brown surround extending to the ceiling, has been replaced. In it's place now sits a sleek, compact, beautiful, super-efficient Danish wood stove. It almost makes me wish for cool enough weather to light a fire. Almost. So here is a peek at the before and after. Yes, it really is the same room.

We reclaimed about 16 square feet, and lots of wall space. The room feels much more spacious. The fireplace didn't give out much heat, it went up the chimney. I have been assured by all associated with the purchase and installation of this new stove that it will "heat us out of the house in the winter". I can't wait.