Sandbox for Adults


Grow savoy cabbage. You won’t be disappointed. Few vegetables are more beautiful, or so delicious.


Grow corn. You won’t be disappointed. Few vegetables have such wild hairdos.


Plant a noble fir. In midsummer, its cones will remind you of Christmas. The sap, capping the cones, even looks like icicles.


For a really great time, grow potatoes. When its time to dig them up, it’s like a sandbox for adults. I grew up in sandboxes and on the beach, digging through the sand, making roads and bridges, and castles more than I can count. Digging through the soft, warm dirt, looking for potatoes is every bit as much fun.


And look at all the potato fruits I found. I’ve got thousands of seeds to plant, just with this lot. Something interesting and new should grow with this many seeds.


Don’t forget to thank the earth and all the creatures living in the earth which made your potatoes possible. A sack of potatoes will provide many meals and plenty of conversation, all made possible by the good earth.


A surprise this afternoon was coming upon a snake skin on a log. You can picture the snake rubbing its belly against the log to remove its old skin. It makes you wish you could crawl out of your skin and leave it behind. If we humans did that, we’d have all sorts of rules as to where and where you could not leave your skin. NO SKINS ALLOWED IN THIS PARK! Or country people would say, “I’m so glad I live somewhere I can leave my skin wherever I want.”


Wherever you live, may you be surrounded by flowers.


Worth It


With its showy leaves, zucchini is worth growing just for its looks. Just one turns into a stunner. And it will feed you too!


I’m preparing beds for fall. So how wide should I make them? A meter? A half a meter? Three feet? Two feet? I’ve decided to ditch the tape measures, rulers, and yard sticks this fall and stick to rulers I have with me at all times … my own feet. It’s as simple as can be. Just line my feet up. And for smaller measurements, I’ll just use my hands and fingers. I’ll never forget where I left my measuring sticks and tapes again. The best solutions are often the simplest ones.


Growing your own food is worth it just for all the amazing creatures you encounter. This looks like a ground beetle larva. These beetles, larva and adults, are predatory and devour all sorts of insects and even slugs. Keep your garden free of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other poisons, and you will end up with a healthy ecosystem with sufficient predators to keep the harmful insects in check. Everything is food for something, and when there are too many aphids or other pests, something will come along and enjoy a feast, taking care of the problem for you.


The mornings are fall-like, but the days are summer. The mimosa is in full bloom. After working the vegetable beds, the powdering fragrance of the mimosa is pure delight.

Hints of Fall


The chilly, dewy mornings hint of fall. It’s down in the low 50s when I head out early in the morning, cool enough to put on a light jacket. On mornings like these, kale leaves are jade jewels. In the hoop house, the tomatoes keep ripening. It may be chilly in the morning, but midday, it’s over a 100º in the hoop house. The tomatoes soak in the sunshine and trap it inside, turning redder with each sunbeam they soak in.


A surprise today was finding some white flower beans 白花豆 ready to pick. The handful made a great side dish for supper. A few more weeks and I should have buckets of these.


Every Day is an Adventure


For these young chicks, every day is an adventure. Even though these dark cornish chicks are hatchery chicks, the moment they arrived on the morning of July 20, I introduced them to their mothers, and here we are, three weeks and a few days later, an adventure every day. The only way little chicks can enjoy adventures into the woods is with a mother.


Potato Heaven


Chickens go nuts over potatoes which is why they are banished from the vegetable garden. A few years ago they dug up the entire crop of potatoes and ate them all. It’s not that they went looking for potatoes, but while digging for their favorite food, earthworms, they uncovered the potatoes one by one.


This pile of potatoes came from a single plant, nearly four and a half pounds, over two kilos, of potatoes. This was a potato that came up from a potato I missed when I was digging up potatoes last year. My experience is that potatoes which overwinter do better than those planted in the spring. My guess is that throughout the winter, they are growing roots so that when spring comes, with a well developed root system, they are able to grow more vigorously. The trick to planting potatoes in the fall is to have beds that stay well drained through the rainy winter months. If they sit in water during the winter they will just rot.


Fresh onions are the jewels of the garden. The whitest of whites, the most beautiful greens are those of freshly dug potatoes. While I was cleaning the onions in the garden this afternoon, Ena 枝那, slept peacefully next to me. You can’t ask for more than to have a sleeping dog at your side to keep you company while you work.


Purple and White, Too Pretty to Eat


Vegetables can be so beautiful and colorful, you pause to pick them. Maybe I’m not that hungry today. I’ll make due with potatoes and kale and leave the brilliant chard to color the garden.


The magenta spreen never fails to disappoint. Neither do the white flower bean blossoms. I will miss these flowers when the chill of fall puts an end to their blooms.


Better Than Apple Pie


What is better than apple pie? A ripe apple that has been in the hot sun all day long. Pluck it from the tree, bite into its warm flesh, and an explosion of apple goodness will blow you away. It’s much better than an apple pie fresh out of the oven.

You’ll find apples in stores year round, but if you have an apple tree, you know that these are seasonal fruit and need to be eaten as soon as you pick them.


The white flower beans are developing nicely. In another month, the first should be ready for picking.


There is no doubt that Sven, our Swedish Flower Chicken rooster, is the father of the young, colorful rooster next to the watering can. The young rooster may even be more flamboyant than his father.


Sorry market folks. These plums are too good to sell.

There’s No Escaping Love


Love is inescapable. You can’t go a few minutes without seeing it. Because so many living things express it, love must be one of the core attributes biological forms acquired. Peel away the billions of bits of DNA we have, dogs have, cats have, plants have, and in the bits we all share, there must be the instructions to love.


The Fairest of Them All?


Picking produce early in the morning for market is a joy. Is there anything more tranquil or beautiful than a snap pea covered with dew? Maybe a squash flower opening at dawn? Or an onion in full bloom? Perhaps the savoy cabbage is the fairest of them all.


Grow Them for Their Flowers


Radishes are worth growing for their delicate, butterfly-like flowers. Some radishes have white flowers and others pink or lavender. You could have a wedding and use nothing but vegetable flowers. Huge bouquets of carrot flowers would steal the show for sure. The dogs aren’t impressed with radish flowers. They aren’t impressed with me digging up potatoes either.


I’m happy with the potatoes I dug up today, and hopefully plenty of people will be happy with them too at Bow Little Market tomorrow.