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Gail's lemonade stand (Store of Cool Stuff)
Cool Stuff
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
First stupice tomato
Topic: tomatoes

Today I picked the first stupice in the bump windows.  There are several more turning red.  It took one sunny warm day and suddenly a bunch turned.  They were waiting.

The stupice had a typical tomato flavor, nothing to write home about.  But they are reliable and early for me.  Although not as early as the Sungold this year. 

Posted by gail_heineman at 7:24 PM YDT
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Monday, 28 July 2008
Record size slug on the screen door
Topic: slugs

This morning I had an unpleasant surprise before my morning coffee.  What should I see a good 4 feet above the ground, gliding happily on my screen door?  A slug, a good 3 1/2 inches long, very large for this part of the world.   As he glided down leaving a trail of slime on my previously clean screen, I wondered what in the world he was doing up there.  Isn't he supposed to be hiding under leaves or something?  Of course it was raining, as it has been most of this sorry gray summer, and the humidity is so high I guess those slugs can go anywhere now.  He slimed back down onto the deck undisturbed as I read my newspaper and drank my coffee, drowning my sorrow in some dark caffeine rich steaming beverage.

I have beer out for the slugs to drown in.  I would put out Sluggo but it's too expensive for me right now, although the beer isn't much cheaper.  The slugs will just have their share of my greens I guess.  Live and let live. 

Posted by gail_heineman at 9:56 PM YDT
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Thursday, 24 July 2008
First tomatoes, fresh herbs
Topic: tomatoes

Today we hard our first two Sungold tomatoes from the bump windows.  There are lots of green tomatoes out there.  I expected the Stupice to ripen first, since I've been selecting the earliest sweetest Stupice for seed for the next year for over a decade, but no.  The Sungold were delicious, but I miss the sun-warm flavor. It was a cool day, as usual this summer.

For dinner I harvested fresh dill, sorrel, French tarragon and cilantro, and chopped them finely into Salmon patties along with egg, corn meal and minced onion.  One of my best versions yet.  I cooked the chopped sorrel with the chopped salmon in the microwave before making the patties.  This is salmon I scraped off the bones after cutting fillets.  Our dipnetted salmon is in the freezer already. It was a good season. 

Posted by gail_heineman at 9:15 AM YDT
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Saturday, 19 July 2008
Luscious lettuce, chard
Topic: chard

I've been harvesting salad greens and cooking greens for only two weeks now.  I carefully tear off the biggest leaves only.  Instead of thinning and throwing away lettuce and chard, I transplanted the extras to where my sad cilantro and zucchini are languishing.

I harvested some cilantro from plants I had started indoors, finally, adding zest to the salad.  The cilantro I seeded directly is still too pundy to bother with.  One zuke plant has one female flower open.  Good luck on that getting pollinated!  But the local farmer's market had excellent quality zukes for cheap, so I know it can be done here this year, albeit 50 miles north in the warmer Matanuska Valley where that produce came from. 

The rhubarb and sorrel are happy, anyway.  It's a good year for perennials, not annuals. 


Posted by gail_heineman at 6:57 PM YDT
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Monday, 14 July 2008
Juvenile robin in the sorrel
Topic: birds

I'm just back from a weekend away, up early in the morning to check out what the plants did while I was gone.  An adult robin is chirping in a strange way, deep in the hungarian lilac bushes.  I get closer to check it out, and hear another different chirp, but I can't tell where.  The adult robin has a worm in her beak, and she seems to try to lead me away, flying over the fence out of my reach.  Then I sense something near my feet.  It's a young robin, about the size of an adult but with incompletely formed tail, and some feathers sticking out, frozen like a statue in the sorrel.  I back away quickly.

So that's why that pair of robins has been grabbing worms constantly out of the garden and lawn for the past week or so!

I hope the young one makes it.  I escort the neighbor cat out of the yard when I see him.  He's old and slow, so I have hope. 

Posted by gail_heineman at 6:45 PM YDT
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