Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Goodbye Camden

At the end of this week I will be leaving my job as Community Garden Organizer at the Camden Children's Garden. Here are some parting photos I took this month of some of the gardens I've been working on this summer: The Cramer Hill CDC garden, a new community garden with HUGE raised beds - probably 20 by 20 ft, and one of my favorites, the St. Anthony's Community Garden.

Cramer Hill CDC Community Garden

Check out the size of those beds!

An incredible melon trellis at the St. Anthony's Community Garden

When the melons start to grow, they will hang down from the trellis and this gardener will support them by making a sling with pantyhose and tying it to the bamboo!


My work in West Philadelphia on community gardens and urban farms continues, so stay tuned to see what exciting things are coming up next!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Garden Update - St. Bernard Community Garden

The cool weather crops are taking their last stand and the warm weather crops are coming on strong. At the St. Bernard Community Garden we've got red and yellow onions, broccoli, kale, swiss chard and cabbage, along with tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. And a zinnia border is popping up at the south end of the plot - I can't wait for vases full of zinnias on my table!

But these pictures were taken about a week ago, before the crazy storm we had on Thursday. It only lasted for about half an hour, but it did a lot of damage to the vegetation in the city. 75 mile per hour winds and marble-sized hail will do that. The leaves of my veggies are all tattered and broken, but hopefully they will perk up again soon and start producing. And I've already harvested a cucumber from one of my vines, so I have hope!

At The Woodlands Community Garden the potatoes are doing their thing, and there are more tomatoes and peppers growing. There are also sunflowers and eggplants, and I planted some winter squash and melon seeds which have already sprouted.

Happy Gardening everyone!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Earlier this month M and I spent a lovely weekend in Baltimore, doing strictly tourist stuff. We saw an Orioles game (at Camden Yards, my 9th baseball stadium), ate loads of crab, and checked out the Inner Harbor and the National Aquarium. Fun fun fun!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Third week of the CSA: shell peas, green snap beans, escarole, salad turnips, lettuce mix, and eggs. From now on I will be posting these to Farm to Philly because it's too much work to post to both! And they will continue to be posted to my Flickr set.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Second CSA box, June 8th. Snap peas, summer squash, green garlic, Easter Egg radish, Salad turnip, and arugula. Plus some hydrangea flowers I got from Katrina's house (payment for watering her plants) and a growler of incredible iced tea made by Amy at Earth Cup in West Philly (45th and Pine).

It's That Time Again

Time for purple-stained fingers and hours spent under a fruit tree. Or crouching in a strawberry patch. Over the last few weeks I have collected many yogurt containers full of mulberries, serviceberries, sour cherries, currants, and strawberries, and all of them have been foraged from street trees or the yard of my friend Katrina (sad news: Katrina and her husband decided to move out of their house on the corner and I will miss her so. Also, now I will have to beg and plead with the new owners to get access to the fruit trees and the strawberry patch!).

Most of the berries went straight into my belly and the belly of friends (I brought four pounds of fruit on the plane with me to St. Louis last weekend to share with Jaja). The rest I cut up, mixed with granulated sugar, and froze. It works quite well; the sugar keeps the berries from sticking together too much in the freezer and you can scoop them out to eat on top of yogurt or ice cream whenever you want!

I also made this incredibly simply biscuit recipe with the serviceberries. It was scrumptious, I suggest you try it out.

Serviceberry biscuits
  • 2 c flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3-4 Tbs Crisco
  • 1 c sugar
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 2 c berries
Mix together dry ingredients. Cut shortening into it with a fork, until course crumbs. Add milk, mix. Gently add berries, mix. Plop onto lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Meet Me

It Is Enough To Enter

the templar
halls of museums, for

example, or
the chambers of churches,

and admire
no more than the beauty

there, or
remember the graveness

or stone, or
whatever. You don't

have to do any
better. You don't have to

the liturgy or know history

to feel holy
in a gallery or presbytery.

It is enough
to have come just so far.

You need
not be opened any more

than does
a door, standing ajar.

- Todd Boss

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Greens and Whites

It's the first CSA box of the season! We're going to be swimming in produce this summer, what with both community garden plots, working in community gardens for my job, and the CSA. Wowza.

We got green lettuce, spinach, pac choi, Japanese turnips, green onions, sugar snap peas, and eggs.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ume update

Remember that Japanese plum wine I made last year? Umeshu, it's called. Well it's been almost a year and I finally cracked open the jar. Verdict? Delicious. Incredibly sweet, and slightly medicinal, but delicious. Here's the original post, and here's the youtube video with the recipe I used.

The time has also come to pick more plums and start another batch. I will do so, this time adding more alcohol and less sugar. Yikes!