Sunday, July 10, 2011


Alright, that last post even got me depressed, looking at all that dead stuff - in MY garden!  I'm sure it probably wasn't very inspiring for you out there.  So, to put a smile back on your screen, I thought I'd share some of my 'Firsts' of the season.

Our first batch of heirloom tomatoes!  And this from one of our plants weathered over from last year. 
(Frank can't wait for his first lick of salsa.)

This was the first year we grew strawberries (planted 2010Nov), and they have produced constantly since April.  Even more since June - who knew they loved summer so much!   
(Putting this one on my vision board.)

We had our fist wave of cosmos wildflowers since 2004!  I think there is too much shade in the back garden.  mmmmm...shade....
(Calling all butterflies!)

This year we grew zucchini from seed, and even under the shade of our huge pine trees, they're putting out nice fruit. 
(Smiling big for zucchini!)

(First zucchini-tomato tryst.  Hey you three, get a fridge!)

(This big guy was able to barter for a whole dozen eggs.)

Much to my surprise, our lisbon lemon tree even budded up it's first fruit.  Pretty early, but I hope it's a good sign of things to come. 
(Here come the lemons!)

Perhaps the best first of the season, was our first ever patio umbrellas.  They have done so much for the garden already.
(Our first love - sanctuary!)

About That Summer Gardening Thing...

Okay, I kinda take it back.   Just becuase you're not outside right now, doesn't mean you're not a 'real' desert gardener.  I mean, it IS pretty hot.  Well, let me be more specific; it's rediculously hot, and CA-RAZY humid!  That's where I draw my line.  110*degrees+, combined with humidity above 20%percent would only feel pleasant if you have webbed wings, a barbed tail, and red is your favorite color.   I'm just a 'dry heat' kind of guy.
(Hey chickie, off the nice lawn!)

In honor of the impressive heat, today I'd root for the hot Team USA in the Soccer World Cup, while I do some indoor gardening, in the form of reflection.  Here is a brief peek at what's been happening - er, not happening - here at Xericopia.  Hope your garden is surviving through it all.  Would love to hear about it!
(Farewell to my seedlings.)

(Farewell to more seedlings...)

(Tomato plant hanging on by a crispy thread.)

 (Lavender?!  Seriously?!)

(Even my luecaphylum texas sage can't cope with this humidity.)

Sunday, July 03, 2011

The Truth About Broccoli

Finally harvested the last of the broccoli!  Well, sort of.  Typically, 'broccoli' is know as the coral reef looking green stuff that causes most children to skip dessert.  Yes, this is all accurate, but did you know broccoli is also leaves and stems? 

Unlike a lot of other veggies, broccoli is 100% edible!  The floret can be steamed, grilled, sauteed, or eaten raw with a yummy dip.  The leaves are great to saute' into a spicy dish, or chop fine and blanch to add to a mixed green salad.  The stems are perfect in a soup stock, or for morning juicing with apple, cucumber, romaine, and beets. 

As part of the cabbage family, this cruciferous vegetable is packed with vitamins C and A.  Broccoli also boost the body's antioxidant defenses, while lowering LDL cholesterol.  (read more here)

So even long after the 'broccoli season' is passed, I'm still enjoy the yummy and nutritious benefits of broccoli.
(Chop it, steam it, juice it!  Before Frank eats it all!)