Saturday, June 7, 2008

Back to work in the backyard!

I went to a very cool plant sale this morning at the Arboretum. It was put on by the local plant society (for which I need to renew my membership and become an active member of, it's on the to-do list) and it was predominantly native and water-wise plants for our high desert environment. There was a very interesting selection, some people brought their own wheelbarrows and loaded them up with plants, I just used one of the cardboard boxes they had available. When you walked in they gave you a catalogue so you could read all about the plants, and they were displayed as they were listed - alphabetically by scientific name. So if you're looking for something specific, you'd better not just know the common name. I didn't go too crazy as I didn't bring much cash, but I got some cool little plants (the better to entice more birds and bees to my yard). They are a bit small to post pics of now, I will put some up when they are a little bit more established.

I also hit the Farmer's Market, which FINALLY started (my fault for living somewhere that still gets snow in May) and got strawberries, cherries, peaches, green beans, corn and these awesome garlic tortillas. Yet again, I didn't bring much cash since I didn't need to go on a bender (yes, fruit-buying sprees are a problem). Then tonight we had dinner at a friend's house - she made this amazing salade nicoise from the Barefoot Contessa cookbook - I found a picture that almost does it justice, she also added asparagus, there were green beans, olives, tomatoes and this amazing potato salad with no dairy - it was in some sort of vinaigrette. Also huge chunks of lightly grilled ahi (I always overcook ahi, so I was taking notes on this one) just barely drizzled with the vinaigrette.
Totally inspiring, especially since we're trying to eat healthier. I keep saying we're going veggie, but technically we're doing the ovo-lacto-pesco-vegetarian deal. I don't do vegan, as I am allergic to soy (weird, I know), and if I had to give up all that other stuff I would probably starve to death. So it has been about a week and I'm working on it. Tomorrow I am making a lasagna, because I can stuff it so full of veggies that you would never know there's no meat. Also using provolone gives it a nice smoky flavor. AND the noodles are whole-wheat. Go me!

On the other side of the veggie report, I have now seen actual blooming flowers on my cherry tomato (and aphids on all the other tomatoes). I am going to hit Home Despot and get more insecticidal soap as it worked so well on the aphids on my dogwoods, and also I spotted a ladybug in my yard! I'd be more excited if that didn't just mean there were lots of aphids for them to eat. Chow down, little guy! My peppers and eggplant are looking a little peaked, I am wondering if they are getting too much sun. Because if they think this is too much sun, then I am screwed in August. However, my zucchini is going nuts! At least some of my stuff is happy, I've never tried to grow most of these things before, so most of my knowledge is theoretical or secondhand. I transplanted the sage that was being encroached on by the zucchini so now they will both have more room.That pepper may be going in to a pot. It is looking very peaky right now, as is it's sibling pepper in the other bed. Also I am assuming the zucchini will be taking over. At least something is doing well!

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