Gardening Derailed

Waiting to Run

A souvenier from the Merrell Down and Dirty Mud Run. I fractured my left middle finger and right ankle during the course. I’ve been hobbling around the house since then and the garden has truly gone native. I have managed to pick the ripe or just ripening tomatoes and untangled the pumpkin trailing tendrils. Weeds are growing wild and the brown, furry creature is back!

I will heal and look forward to getting the garden back to good. In the meantime, I’ve perfected my Gazpacho recipe using tomatoes I’ve harvested so far:


Finished product:

Gazpacho for Dinner


2011 Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run

I survived Merrell Down & Dirty Mud Run

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2011 PHS City Garden Contest

Saturday three delightful judges representing the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) toured my little urban vegetable garden.

2011 PHS City Gardens Contest

All three judges appeared to appreciate diversity within my veggies and herbs. Judging will continue till August 12th, so I have some time to wait before I know the outcome of my garden.

Grow, Baby, Grow!

Back in the day, say a week or two ago, my Tomato patch looked nice and tidy:


My little munch kins have rapidly grown to nearly taller than my good self. I’m 5’6 and I can see eye to ‘eye’ with my tomato plants. Is this normal? Have I created a monster? I posed for a picture next to the plants so you can see the height of these plants. FYI: Please disregard the hair as the photo was taken shortly after a four mile run.
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War Has Been Declared


And I don’t need Congressional approval to do so.

A rather pesky squirrel has been relentlessly attacking my corn seedlings. I’ve replaced countless seedlings. This destruction has forced me to net the raised bed containing the corn and to deploy a rodent-be-gone bitter spray around the raised bed. It took a while to find a product that wasn’t deadly to domestic animals. So far this week, I’ve seen no more damage to the crops and managed to harvest a handful of beans from this bed. I’m attempting a ‘Three Sisters’ growing method where you plant corn, squash and pole beans along one another. The three plants are complimentary to each other; the corn provides structure for the pole beans to climb, the pole bean roots add nitrogen to the soil that the corn needs for its growth, and the squash provides ground cover to prevent weeds from growing.

Sounds dishy doesn’t it? I’ve wanted to try this Indian technique in the garden and I will NOT allow the actions of a marauding squirrel to thwart me.

Stay tuned, this story is just getting started…

June Garden Update

Challenging situations and disasters have been the running theme with the garden this year. It makes the memories of the garden last year seem idyllic; every plant grew according to plan and every seed sprouted within minutes of planting. It seemed I had the greenest of green thumbs for gardening.  Then reality struck.

So far in 2011 the garden has weathered record-breaking snow storms, landscaping projects that took weeks to complete and clean up, a total collapse of the mini greenhouse destroying seedlings in the process, birds uprooting growing corn and spectacular seed failures.

Despite the near disasters mentioned above the garden trundled on. ┬áThe challenges and problems I’ve faced this spring and early summer have been terrific teachable moments about gardening and perseverance. That what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger and I have a kick butt garden to show for it!

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Chasing 26.2

Post Broad Street ReRun

Philadelphia Marathon
Sunday, November 20th
7 am
22nd Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway

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