Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Papers in my Paprikash?

The garden is in a transitional stage right now - we're somewhere between summer and fall (90 degrees today!) so there's not much to report on. Most of the flowers are doing well and I'm thinking about whether to plant mums or start sowing bulbs for spring.

But today's entry has nothing to do with that.

We have a wonderful sweet housekeeper, Consuelo. She is originally from Guatemala (don't worry INS, she has a green card!) and has been working for us for a few years. Her English is so-so on good days. My Spanish is non-existent. Somehow we manage to communicate. Today she was telling me about her big yard at her new house. The conversation went something like this:

C: I have big yard. Big big yard.

FC: Really, that's great. Do you have a garden?

C: I have big trees. Pine. One died. You need firewood?

FC: Yes, that would be nice. Thank you.

C: I also have papers. Growing in ground.

FC: Papers? Hmmm. (I'm thinking "Astroturf?"). That's nice.

C: I water them everyday. They grow so big (she demonstrates what looks like a foot tall).

FC: So they are short? Must be the drought. Very dry. No rain.

C: I water them all the time. Very good. In Spanish, called "chiles".

FC: AHA! Peppers! Excellent!

So now, in addition to my lovely herb collection and sorry tomato plant I will be receiving fresh chile peppers!

Perhaps I will have peppers in my paprikash.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Friend or Foe?

Recent news reports have discussed the decline of the honeybee. Normally, I'd be glad as I am allergic to bee stings. But as a gardener I have to be concerned with their decline. Aside from stinging people like me, they do have their purpose - *Spreading the Love*. Bees pollinate. And without bees no pollination. And without pollination, no flowers. So can't we all just get along?

king bee

Monday, September 03, 2007

Grow Your Vegetables

I read a disturbing story today about obesity in America. Obesity rates grew in 31 states, and most notably to me, "This year's report, for the first time, looked at rates of overweight children ages 10 to 17. The District of Columbia had the highest percentage _ 22.8 percent." This is horrifying. And sadly, not surprising if you live here.

I could go into the myriad possible reasons for this - nutrition education (or lack thereof), parental influence (or lack thereof), opportunities for outdoor activities (or lack thereof), access to healthy food in supermarkets (or lack thereof)... you get my point.

Instead, I will take this opportunity to talk about the benefits of community gardens. Not only do you get to grow healthy foods, there are other benefits (as my sister would say "externalities") - fresh air, exercise (try pulling weeds and you'll know what I mean), friendships, a sense of community.

So check out a community garden near you or grow something in your backyard and share it with your neighbors - it's a great feeling!

Saturday, September 01, 2007


Floral Porn - part of the weekly Photo Hunters

credit to my sister