happy weekend!

Happy weekend : )

PS. Don’t worry. The kale made it through the frost.

Jess

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Good night, summer…

Frost came this past week.


We actually held our twentieth garden giveaway this Thursday, which seemed like quite a milestone– it was indeed, considering it was the last one featuring summer harvest!
The frost was not kind to the garden and unfortunately killed all the tomato, eggplant, pepper and okra leaves/stalks, giving the vegetables very little access to the nutrients they need to grow. Never fear however: we already have cold-weather winter plants growing.

I did want to acknowledge however, the joy that the plants have given us, as Jerry Rife perfectly summarized, ‘gracing our diets and table with fresh produce all summer’. Thank you, plants. It was quite sad to see those companions go –we’ve been through a lot together and I’ve truly learned immeasurably lessons from them– but I guess the best lesson of all was seeing that lovely cycle-of-life come full circle.

The garden looks completely different now! Dr. Hyatt came to devote a ton of time (8 am folks, 45 degrees!!) to pulling up all the plants. (Thank you, Dr.  Hyatt!) Four rows are plant-less now, the majority of which I had a chance to till during the giveaway. Fall is truly here…and get excited for some delicious cold-weather produce (more on that later).

For now: There was a baby announcement for the spigot…so of course, I have to say goodbye with my rendition of a childhood tale (and photos, scroll down below). Please tell me I’m not the only one who remembers the beautiful story Goodnight Moon…

“In the great garden
there was a shed
And a red wheelbarrow
And pathways all mulched, with rows quite narrow.
And there were three little squirrels eating some beans
And two little bunnies looking on at the scene.
And listening, a little dragonfly and a young mouse.
And a bluebird singing
And the plants, so lush
And a quiet old grasshopper who was whispering, “Hush.”
Good night, peppers, green and red. Good night, garden, soon to bed.
Good night, garden fork and broom.
Good night, spade and warm afternoon.
Good night, eggplant. Good night, ant.
Good night, flowers. Good night, rain showers.
Good night, fern. Good night, sunburn.
Good night, bluejay. Good night, spider’s prey.
Good night, beans. Good night, scene.
Good night, okra. Good night, plants, so lush.
Good night to the old grasshopper whispering, “Hush.”
Good night, tomato. Good night, summer fare.
Good night, summer everywhere.”

Jess

Good night, summer. Good night, peppers.

“Good night, peppers, green and red. Good night, garden, soon to bed.”

And so begins the mini-series ‘Good night, summer‘ paying tribute to our dear summer friends.
To fully understand what I’m talking about, scroll up to the top of the page and read the post labeled ‘Good night, summer…





Jess

Good night, summer. Good night, okra.

“Good night, flowers. Good night, rain showers.”

And so continues the mini-series Good night, summer paying tribute to our dear summer friends.
To fully understand what I’m talking about, scroll up to the top of the page and read the post labeled Good night, summer…


Um, do you see how beautiful this flower is? We had this. In our garden.
Just in case you didn’t see it:

 


A quick note about okra: I just recently discovered that each flower IS a premature okra pod! The flower opens and closes daily, and eventually stops opening and begins to decompose. Underneath, when it falls off, is a safely protected okra pod (much like the one behind the flower in the picture above) ready to face the world.

You can see how supported the flower is in the photo below. Give this flower a few more days and you’ve got yourself an okra pod!

Also, fun fact? Ants LOVE these flowers.

Thanks for making the world a more beautiful place.

Jess

Good night, summer. Good night, tomatoes.

“Good night, tomato. Good night, summer fare.”

And so ends the mini-series Good night, summer paying tribute to our dear summer friends.
To fully understand what I’m talking about, scroll up to the top of the page and read the post labeled Good night, summer…


This photo was taken after the frost (thus why the leaves are so sad-looking). But still. Look at that fruit.

Jess

Love the taste of fresh herbs? Dry your own!

Guest post, written by the lovely Debra Greenberg:

Extend your herb garden as it begins to get cold outside!

Many spices can be preserved and dried or frozen for several months. Basil for example can be washed and dry leaves can be laid out between pieces of wax paper and stored in a ziplock freezer bag. The leaves will turn dark when frozen but they do maintain the flavor. Great for soups and pastas throughout the fall and winter months.

There are actually many different ways you can dry your herbs. The article in the link below some other methods:
http://www.gardenherbs.org/preserving_herbs.htm

Thanks Debra! Come on over to stock up on herbs before winter truly settles in! We have a kingdom of tarragon, tons of thyme and the basil is set to go (near science as well!). See you Thursday, all!

Jess

TED Talk magic

Are you all aware of the utter magic named Ted Talks?

Taken directly from their website:

Our mission: Spreading ideas.

We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other. This site, launched April 2007, is an ever-evolving work in progress, and you’re an important part of it. Have an idea? We want to hear from you.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

I actually had never seen a TED Talk before taking the intro class for Rider’s Sustainability Studies minor with the fantastic (!) Dr. Hyatt. We watched a video in which Chef Dan Barber reminisced about a farm he visited in Extremadura, Spain that found a humane way of producing ‘sustainable’ foie gras…no gavache (video link here). It was a beautiful story and incredibly powerful despite its short length. Totally humorous too: upon arrival, he found the farmer lying on the ground, taking pictures with his ducks.

Regardless to say, it was so exciting to find this video yesterday! Sam Mogannam, owner/founder of Bi-Rite Market (one of San Francisco’s oldest neighborhood markets) discusses the importance of connections in a community: uniting staff, customers and local farmers. It’s rather short and sweet–a little basic–but says something about the connection between community and food that is being revitalized across the country. Hello, Rider’s Green Acres mission statement!

Those farmers are such great role models. Go female farmer power!

Speaking of those models…maaybe we should welcome a pig into our family?

Just kidding. (Sort of.)

Jess