Thursday, June 28, 2007

watering my garden

Yesterday I watered my garden. It had been a while since I did that since I forgot to for a while, maybe three days. But that is OK, because plants need to get a little dried out so their roots will sssstrrreeeccchhh down into the soil looking for more water. That makes the whole plant stronger, and then when you come along to water with your hose they are so happy!

This is what I saw in the garden while I was watering: the tomato plants that have gotten TWICE as BIG since I last saw them! And I saw the tomatillos that fell over while they are waiting for me to put in sticks and strings for them to lean on. Do you know what a tomatillo is? It looks like a little green tomato with a skin on it, but it tastes like a lemon. And when it is ready to eat it breaks open its skin and the skin gets dried like paper. You can make salsa with it and I don't know what else.

Wombat Warren is digging his own garden all the time. Every time I see him he is working on it. He saves his seeds every year. He likes especially to save the sunflower seeds. Do you know when you look at the top of the sunflower and you see what you think is the flower you are really seeing a BUNCH of flowers all crammed together on the top of the stalk? That is called a composite flower.

Monday, June 25, 2007


On Sunday we went blueberry picking at a farm that we had to drive to. The blueberries were so sweet they tasted like someone put sugar in the hose when they watered them! I am eating them right now. I love blueberries. Later this week I will post again about the blueberries when my mom makes a blueberry cake.

We got cherries at the farmers market from the farmer who lives in Pennsylvania. I learned how to take the pits out with a paper clip. It was the only time I had ever even used a paper clip before.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Benny ha ha

Yesterday my cousin graduated from 5th grade and we went to Benny Ha Ha to celebrate. That's the place where they make your food on a hot metal table in front of you! They throw little bits of food at people who catch them in their mouths so it is like the aquarium.

The chef made a volcano out of an onion! (More about onions: I have planted onions on my friend's farm but I have never grown them by myself. They start out as little bitty threads that you stick into the ground. You can have sweet onions for a sandwich or storage onions, which grow a skin after you take them out of the ground.) The chef also made the whole table catch on fire on purpose, which was fun, like getting in front of the sun for just a minute. My eyes liked it.

I would like to open my own Benny Ha Ha where you bring food you grew in your garden and other people bring food they grew in their garden and the chef chops it up and mixes it together and cooks it really good and everyone gets to eat it.

I told her about it and now Nut Ella wants to go to Benny Ha Ha for her birthday, but her mom said it's too expensive and she will have a party for her that is like being at Benny Ha Ha but also different. Her birthday is tomorrow! That's the longest day of the year too! What do you think I should get her?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

the kids who don't play outside

Here's a story about kids who don't play outside and how that is different than when my mom and dad were little. Someone wants us to have a green hour now when you are supposed to go outside and do nothing or whatever you want.

I like doing stuff inside too! The things I like the best are:
- pulling the couch cushions off the couch and sliding down the stairs into them!
- making cookies in the kitchen! (chocolate chip oatmeal this week)
- waking my dad up when he is sleeping on the couch after I put the cushions back! it is fun to see what you have to do to make him wake up. melting ice on his face works.

But better than anything inside I like the picnic table outside and the hammock and the porch. I want to have a house that's just a room with walls made out of screens and a picnic table and a hammock.

Right now my house is filled with garlic, that's my house in real life that I'm talking about, because we pulled up what we planted in the fall. Now it's sort of drying out in the living room and I have to try not to step on it.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Nut Ella Is Afraid

I hung out with Nut Ella yesterday! We made peanut butter cookies. Peanuts: they're also called ground-nuts. Where Nut Ella's grandma lives in southern Virginia they grow peanuts and sweet potatoes. Nut Ella always comes home with peanut soup and sweet potato pie to share with us. I think it helps to have sandy soil with stuff like that. With sandy soil, there is more air space and things that grow roots as food seem to get big more easily. It heats up faster in the spring.

Here where we live the soil is clay. It holds on to good food better. You can''t just pull it out, sometimes you have to dig it with a garden fork or something. Like if you pull out a carrot it might break as you're taking it out. And when it gets wet it sticks together. Not a lot of air space.

So, Nut Ella is afraid of Wombat Warren. She won't go near his garden or his house (which is also called Wombat Warren, which is confusing). I tell her, "Don't be afraid, Wombat Warren is nice," but she is still. Do you have anything I can tell her that would make her stop being afraid?

Monday, June 11, 2007

sweet potatoes, blue lakes

This morning I watered the garden. The sweet potato babies are called "slips" and they are about two inches high. Some are good, some are not looking so good. Two died. I don't know why.

Our garden neighbor Wombat Warren gave us the sweet potato babies. They were extra, he already planted a bunch. He grew them in a bucket of water. I will have to tell you more about Wombat Warren sometime. Even though it may seem that way he is not pretend.

Last week my mom left some baby flowers in her car all day and some of them died too from getting WAAAAY too hot. She felt bad about it and I made her feel worse.

So this morning I pulled out the dead sweet potatoes and planted some beans in their place. They're called "Blue Lake Bush Beans." I don't know where the blue lake is. They are not tall like pole beans. Do you know how to tell that a bean is fresh? It will stick to your t-shirt if it is fresh!

Beans love summer. They are so green. They are always fixing to get some nitrogen. You can plant them all summer. Then when they're ready to pick, you can pick them for three weeks. A baby bean is really cute, but too small to eat.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

sweet peas

I love the way peas and pole beans curl around fences and sticks! I put sticks in the garden in our backyard and the beans are starting to grow up and GRAB the sticks! I strung string between the sticks too. The beans are starting to make flowers, but I am still looking for their bees.

Let me tell you about my garden. I am growing okra, eggplant, basil and flowers. I am also growing tomatoes. There's other stuff too but I can't remember what it is right now. I am looking forward to giving some of what I grow to my friends. Nut Ella will get some of everything. A few of the tomatoes I will give to Booze Allen, because he doesn't like to cook and he doesn't like flowers. Basil is good with tomatoes. We planted garlic last fall and are just starting to pull it out of the ground! I took some out last night. It made a scrittching ripping sound coming out. I hope it doesn't mind too much. In the fall I will plant more garlic. Did you know it takes nine months to grow and it doesn't mind the winter?

I have a compost pile in the corner of it and yesterday I found a spider crawling in it. There are lots of good things you can put in the compost. This guy Cliff Bar, he lives down the street from us and he is older than me but not that old, and he likes to help people learn how to make compost. He sent us this list of stuff to compost. It says you can use lint from the dryer! My favorite thing to put in the compost is egg shells. Then later I like finding a worm living in the egg shell. The shell also makes tomato plants stronger.

It was really dry this spring, which is different from last spring when it RAINED and RAINED. Do you remember that? What were you doing when it rained the most last year? My mom and I were at the movies with her friend Heather. They like to go to the movie theater that sells beer. We saw Finding Nemo, which was fine, but they really wanted to see the Al Gore movie but thought it would be too scary for me. Anyway, we left the theater and drove home and on the way the car almost drowned because there was so much water on the road.