Sunday, June 13, 2010

How my garden grows

It's beginning to look like summer in my backyard:  the garden is in full swing, and food is starting to roll in...

We had a bunch of volunteers in the garden this year:  tomatoes everywhere, one zucchini, a mess of sunflowers, and some other little flowers sprinkled around.  Mint and cilantro too.  Planted some Roma seedlings, along with sweet peppers, eggplant, okra (an experiment), brussel sprouts (another experiment - picked by a young friend, believe it or not), cucumber, and basil.  Got a black metal tower for the cukes to grow on, it adds nice architectural interest.

Strawberries were going well for awhile there, but now they seem to have tapered off... turns out they were May-bearing instead of June-bearing.  Also in May, we caught a bunch of slugs in the beer traps in the strawberry patch.  The grapevine I put in a few years ago seems to be blooming, and it's going crazy - not sure what to do with it, beyond trying to keep it on the trellis.  I put seeds for lettuce, kale, and chard in beside the fence, which is probably too shady because they aren't growing so fast.  Put in beans just the other day, and another zucchini for when the vine borers get the first one.

Despite all this backyard food, we did still buy a CSA share from One Straw Farm again this year.  Their strawberries came early too, got a shipment before Memorial Day.

Getting taken to the cleaners

Dry-cleaning is one of my pet peeves.  It's expensive, produces a pile of wire hangers (which can be returned) and plastic bags (which can't be returned), and the chemicals are nasty.  Now that I've been doing life cycle assessments and ROI studies at work, I detest dry-clean-only clothes even more:  considering that a $100 suit will cost you $10 per cleaning for the rest of its life, is that really such a good deal?

Diatribe over.  Awhile back I blogged about green dry-cleaners; since then I've discovered organic cleaning at Belvedere Dry Cleaners at 6306 York Road near Rodgers Forge.  They're fast, reliable, and they also do alterations.

But what got me thinking about dry-cleaning today was this NYTimes article about the Green Garmento:  a reusable dry-cleaning bag.  It will take a sea change in dry-cleaning protocol for this to succeed, but I really hope this type of thing becomes the norm.  Check it out, and ask your dry-cleaner to do the same!