Sunday, May 31, 2009

I changed my picture

but don't have much to say right now. Actually I have a lot to say but am too busy trying to finish "The Watchmen" for book group on Wednesday. I did get this great picture this afternoon- broccoli on 7th.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

One Local Summer 2009

I've been waiting for the One Local Summer announcement to go up for a few weeks now. I did OLS last summer and it was such an inspiration to learn and create new recipes and learn who sells what in our new neighborhood. Eating local, or as local as I can be, has become second nature mostly because I have learned where to find local staples like eggs and meat.

I haven't read the rules carefully but OLS suggests that you define what you mean by local and I think I'll stick to my "anything from NJ, NY, or PA" rule. I also set a rule that anything I find at the farmers market is fair game. This year I think I'll end up getting most of my produce from the Park Slope Coop since they are open 7 days a week.

If you're into food, want to learn more about the stores in your neighborhood, or are just a bit freaked out by what is in your food, I recommend trying OLS, the link is below!

One Local Summer 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pretty Pretty

Just to make up for the grossness, here's picture of a very pretty flower in all of its flouncy pink glory!


This is the second year that my pansies have suffered from an extreme infestation of green aphids in the spring. I was shocked but not surprised to see one of my window boxes totally covered with aphids and dead aphids. A carpet of aphids is one of the few things in the world that could gross me out but this was a slimy carpet of green aphids plus the dreaded black aphids on my succulents.

I gave up entirely on one window box, it was almost all dead but will try to revive the mostly infested but not dead yet other box. The only thing that works but isn't totally toxic is a soapy water spray and smushing of the bugs with ones fingers. Honestly, and this is going to be gross, with an infestation like this its more of a wiping motion since there are so many bugs.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Roast Chicken, Ramps, Bacon and Potatoes

Last night at the Coop I bought some local ramps, asparagus, and sorrel. I was so excited to find some locally grown (NY and NJ) produce without going to the farmers market. I love the farmers market but I usually have to get up early on Saturday and ride my bike down to Grand Army Plaza and those are two things I really hate doing.

I made roast asparagus last night and I'm going to make roast chicken with potatoes, ramps, bacon and potatoes tonight with my lovely local finds. I noticed that the roast chicken was my first One Local Summer Meal last year (made a bit early) and am wondering why I haven't heard anything about OLS 2009. I'll keep looking but to begin the OLS season, I will make the same meal I made last year when the ramps appeared!

Link to Roast Chicken, Bacon, Potatoes, and Ramps

Monday, May 11, 2009

A few rules of container gardening

This is my second season container gardening and I wanted to share a few tips.

1. Container gardening is inherently temporary in nature and movability will give you some nice options as the weather and seasons change. You shouldn't use anything that you can't easily move. This means you shouldn't buy a 4' x 2' tree bed and put it on your fire escape, fill it with rocks, 100lbs of soil, and a tree. I have now spent about 10 hours of my precious weekends trying to get this thing off our "balcony" and have made little headroom. The previous owner put it out there and we had to take it down because the insurance company says so. I don't disagree with the insurance company, the thing weighs a few hundred pounds.

2. Know your window boxes because they're all different. I have window boxes on two sides of the apartment and they are all different. Most of them get little rain and lots of wind, two of them get no wind, lots of rain, and some sunlight. One of them gets no rain, all sun, and tons of wind. I put up a post about the fate of my pansies a while ago that illustrated the point nicely. You need to choose plants that are appropriate to the conditions. This is obvious to a real gardener, you know, with land, but less obvious to me. I also had to choose plants based on how easy it was for me to water the plants. I can't water the plants in our bedroom in the morning because my husband is asleep so those need to be self sufficient. I can't water the ones in my office because that window is broken and I can water the ones in the living room because no one sleeps there and the window isn't broken. So your window boxes become a reflection of the microclimates of your house and must be delicately maintained so as to not ruin your marriage.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

May 2, 2009

I have to admit there isn't really much I have to write about. I was incredibly sick early in the week, worked 12 hours days when I was back at work, and then have spent my weekend catching up on sleep and time with friends. You may have read my post last week, the one where I complained about a fever, cough, and sore throat, and though, "oh dear, she has swine flu". Trust me, every one thinks that they have swine flu. I on the other hand, had an ear and sinus infection with bronchitis and a serious case of the undersleeps. I spent Sunday and Monday curled in the fetal position, rocking, and mumbling about pretzels with a fever. Once I emerged from the fever and got some antibiotics in me, I felt much better.

We, like all institutions that deal with school kids in NYC, have been wrapped up in the swine flu hysteria, and I have been unwilling to see my sister or the babies in my life. I have just assumed that I have been exposed and don't want to be the one that brings it to NJ. Better safe that sorry right?