What I cooked in June

June is the month of waiting in the garden, at least for me. The show-stoppers of summer vegetables--tomatoes and sweet corn--have largely not yet arrived. I spend a lot of time pacing the garden, looking for signs of the first ripe tomato. In the … [Read more...]

Me vs. the zucchini, part 2

I didn't take any pictures of the sandwiches Thursday, and this is something of a tragedy. They were a thing of beauty. Well, it looked okay. It tasted awesome. Thursday, my friends came over for lunch, so of course, it was another opportunity … [Read more...]

Me vs. the zucchini

I am a one-note wonder in the summer, and that note is vegetables. If there were a reality TV show that consisted of nothing but various people competing to find something to do with all the squash coming out of their garden, I would totally watch … [Read more...]

The language of gardening

In summer, we speak the language of gardens. Of vegetables and rainstorms. The rabbits are eating the beet greens. There are grubs in the radishes. The raccoons will find the corn no matter what you do. They will plunder it in the precise moment … [Read more...]

Garden fragments

There are grubs in my radishes, teeming in tiny multitudes at the roots every time I push back the leaves. I tried to convince myself at first that this was coincidental. The high incidence of grubs in the earth right next to my radishes was only … [Read more...]

This time of year

This time of year is like the sound of an orchestra warming up after a long, quiet season in the concert hall. The hint of violin there. The rattle of the cymbals. Faint and scattered at first before the cacophony that will come with all the … [Read more...]

Madison Monday: The Battle of Big Squash

Is it Garrison Keillor who tells the joke about zucchini in the Midwest? The only time Midwesterners lock their cars is in the summer to keep their neighbors from dumping bags of zucchini in the passenger seat. From June until September, this part … [Read more...]

Madison Monday: Waiting for tomatoes

If waiting were weather, it’d be humid and hot. The kind of air that wets your throat as you breath it in. The kind of summer day where the sun goes down but the temperature does not. That’s waiting. We’ve been doing a lot of it in Madison lately. … [Read more...]

The weeds you want: a gardening strategy for the lazy

Beginning Memorial Day weekend, there’s been some serious gardening action going on around our house. We finally bought our raised bed kit, a lovely two-tiered 4 x 8 foot cedar ensemble. Also, tool-less assemblage, which was key for we of little … [Read more...]

Learning to hear, or how to have fun with your iPhone in the woods

This weekend, a friend posted some pictures of wildflowers blooming on Facebook. I remembered that last spring when I went on a walk down the Daryl R. Karns Natural History Trails at Hanover, I saw a lot of trillium plants, but they had already … [Read more...]