Wednesday, July 2, 2014

rapunzel's garden: update

In Montreal it's hot and humid. Rather than complain about the heat, Rapunzel would sooner think about her garden.

You have to remember she lived many years in a tower hanging her hair out a window. She doesn't always know what she's doing in the garden. She takes advice from strangers. That funny, fabric-looking stuff around the zucchini is something a man at the gardening center said would help keep the moisture in the soil. Does it? Who knows.
She still gets startled by worms and sow bugs, though she doesn't shriek anymore when she touches one.
It's a big incentive to see how the dried peas she poked into the soil a mere 5 wks ago have grown into plants almost as high as her shoulders. (Okay, she's short.)
The carrots, beets, basil, lettuce, beans are growing. There are flowers on the canteloupe.
The eggplant hasn't flowered yet and she worries because one of her all-time favourite things to eat is barbecued eggplant. She slices the eggplant, brushes it with a paste of olive oil, paprika and mustard, grills it slowly. It's good right off the grill and even more delicious cold the next day in pita with cheese and arugula.
So far she's harvested arugula, red leaf lettuce and a Boston lettuce.

There weren't enough snow peas to make a meal, but enough for a snack. The white tissue bits on the tips are the flowers. Rapunzel thinks they should be eaten with the snow peas. Growing her own produce has made her hyper-respectful of all aspects of a plant.

Nevertheless, she knows she has to nip suckers, prune lateral stems etc. Or at least, that's what she's read. When she actually trimmed some vines off the cucumbers that were threatening to choke the beans, the women in the saris stopped gossiping to cluck disapprovingly and shake their heads. Rapunzel tried to explain. "The cucumbers--the branches are getting too big." She waved her arms to demonstrate. "Big," the women agreed. But they would have done something else to control the cucumber, Rapunzel can just tell.

Off to the side of the garden allotments is a wooded area with picnic tables and a hammock--a very comfortable hammock. Look, there's a man having a snooze right now. 

And yeah, isn't it amazing: all this in the city. 

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