Balcony Garden update

Salad garden May 23 My salad garden on the balcony is coming along nicely.  I’ve had two more decent sized salads and today managed salad for two!  The baby romaine, spinach, pak choy and  red leaf lettuce plants came from the west HyVee here in town.  It’s been a little tricky to keep them adequately watered as my balcony gets a lot of late day sun with it’s south westerly exposure, but I think I’m getting the hang of it.  One nice thing about the plants being in a planter is that if it gets very hot and windy, I can just pull the box inside into the air conditioning for a while!

Here is  a Polish inspired salad I made with beets, sauerkraut, salami and my lettuce.

beet salad

For today’s lunch, I sauteed some sugar snap peas ( I wonder if I could grow them on the balcony??) and added them to the greens which made for a slightly warm salad….dressed it with olive oil and a splash of soy sauce, sprinkled with toasted Chinese noodles and served with chicken breast.  Not bad!

Cow Fever



Cow tonguebaby cow

No, this is not some new disease. If you have it, you know it, and you never quite get rid of it. Mine started when I was in college at Purdue taking Animal Science 101 and had to spend a few hours at the Purdue Dairy Farm helping with milking. Cows…..they just rock. What else can I say? Big, sweet, friendly, laid back animals in a variety of beautiful colors and patterns, I never tire of hearing them yank some grass and chew chew chew. It’s such a peaceful sound. Then there is the sound of lazy tails swatting flies, huge deep loving eyes and tongues that feel like thick tickley duct tape. I love the smell of cows, the way they move, the way they casually check you out and then go back to their grazing. I love their adorable ears. And baby calves….well don’t even get me started!

These pics are from 2007 on a Sunday afternoon trip to Picket Fence Creamery for one of their tasting days. And speaking of tasting….ICE CREAM…where does it come from? Cows!

Fragile spring beauty

crab apple close up I don’t understand why every year I forget how breathtaking spring is. In the winter, I yearn for it, I day dream about it, but when May comes around, my breath gets taken away again, as if it’s the first time all over again. I’m not working full time right now, and that adds to my feelings of urgency to fully take in this brief flush of new life.

I love to take close up photos of flowers, to get the veins in the petals, the stamens, the puffy yellow pollen. I cut these crab apple blossoms from the trees around my apartment complex. The close up shows how perfectly designed each blossom is and yet with one bump or gust of breeze, all the petals come tumbling off and the showy beauty disappears.

That reminds me that it’s all about the seeds. The fragile beauty slips away, but the seed producing core remains and pulls all the sunlight’s energy into it’s important task. Knowing this helps me look forward to summer and not mourn spring’s passing too much. The leaves on the trees are growing bigger and stronger every day now, rustling in the breezes, the tree flowers are mostly gone and summer is slipping in.

Eating off the balcony

You’ll probably be reading a lot about my little balcony garden this year…hope my passion for plants doesn’t bore you to death! My little lettuce garden is recovering nicely from the deluge. Steven’s letting me use his rotary tool for a while, and I got busy and drilled many many drainage holes in the lettuce box. No more drowned bok choy! I had my first harvests last week: a few (like three or four) leaves to add to a store ingredients salad, just to get my taste buds going, and then….mounds of fresh greens on an Omaha steaks hamburger! And I mean fresh….like picked at 4:30 PM and consumed at 4:45 PM. I just rinsed them off, wrapped them in a paper towel and let them chill in the frig to crisp up a few minutes…and voila!



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