Category Archives: Gardens and Flower Power Photos

Pumpkin flower food

4utu

Pumpkin flower food

Has anyone else ever made delicious recipes out of flor de calabaza– the blossom that turns into a pumpkin?

A friend from Mexico makes quesadillas with them and I’ve heard there is a soup you can make with these.

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The Garden

Double duty cilantro

We are reaching the end of our second year in a new town.  I guess it’s not new after two years but there are some things that just take some time before it really seems like home.  Last year I didn’t get around to starting a garden.  Early morning digging and picking flowers had been part of my routine before that.  I would take wonderful bouquets of flowers to work and there was never any shortage of blooms for the kitchen table.

I made a promise that this year would be different.  I don’t have any cutting flowers this year but I discovered that cilantro can pull double duty in a new garden.  After the young leaves have been picked for salsas or to perk up some caldo, let the plant grow.  You will get wonderfully tall stems with little white flowers.  It helped fill in those bare spots that are waiting for the perennials to fill in.

I was great at growing flowers back at the old garden but aside from the vegetables that will grow no matter what you do, I never really had much luck with things you could eat.  I would have baskets full of tomatillos and pumpkins–  I think they would grow no matter what.  I am happy to say I grew this tomato.  It tasted great!  I think this new garden will come into it’s own and be just fine.

Moonlighting

Farm to fork

Farm to fork

A younger version of myself often thought of gardening as work– I had seen what work did to my parents.  Some days they returned home with sun burnt cheeks, peeling skin and a look beyond exhaustion.  No hugging allowed until after they showered.  They worried the chemicals from low flying crop duster planes would make us sick.  The winged buzzer dipped so near they could see the daredevils face.  My brothers, sister and I were much more fortunate than other children of migrant workers.  We went to school and didn’t miss long stretches to work side by side with our parents.

I don’t grow anything.  I am the shepherd of the seeds and land but the magic happens despite me, not because of me.  I walk my garden in the morning and in the cool of the evening.  The beast that lives within me, the lupus, tempts me often.  I know my limits.  Choices exist but they come at a cost.  Gardening in the moonlight is divine.  My husband’s laughter and our soft conversation carry to the stars above.  We marvel at the expanse of the sky and gardening is many things– but work it is not.

During the time the sun rules the sky, I wait.  From the kitchen window I can see the ripening treasures bend their lifeline low to the ground.  Come nightfall, I will garden at my leisure.  Hands that were spared the fate of a lost childhood carefully harvest the garden’s offerings.  My father’s hands– hands that now bend like the branches of trees they once pruned teach me the secrets of a good shepherd.  I must master that.  My teacher is becoming tired and the next moonlighter is waiting in the wings.