Posts Tagged ‘urban gardening’

Season of Peppers 2017

I’ve let this go.  I’m never home!  But when I am, it’s precious time and it’s usually spent with mom and/or a turtle.  So nothing much on the house front to report other than the garden.  So here you go – an update for the first 10 months of 2017.

The grapevines have made a miraculous comeback from being completely chopped down last fall.  But the only other thing I had time to plant this year was a single Asian Eggplant – which, to my amazement – bore fruit!

Mom, on the other hand, basically took all the seeds from the various peppers in her Bicol express that she made for Kuya Michael over the course of the spring/summer, and threw them in the ground.  And lo’ and behold – a ridiculously bountiful harvest.


Life will find a way.  We persist.


First Fireflies of the Season!

Trust me – they’re out there. Didn’t do a great job catching them with the camera, but I just mowed the backyard for the first time in months and they’re here! 

We also have a robin nesting under out back patio.  The fourth one in four years! And I was even able to save this one from being knocked over by accident.

Now if I can just get these Tī plants to grow….  

Then I’d really feel unstoppable.  Happy summer nights!

Whoa. That was quick. Spring is here!

Quickly pruned back the grapevines as well!
The roses, veggie garden and compost bin will just have to wait until…well, another day. Read: When mom gets back.

So many plans, dreams and aspirations for gardening this year!!!  So little time.

Theophilus, the sago palm, did not make the winter.  Despite our attempts at coverage and protection.


You live, your learn.  You win some, you lose some. So sorry, Theo.  Will try to revive you, in case your base and roots are still alive, but I should have never put you in the ground.  I will not think of your life as a metaphor of my existence in Washington, DC.

House (Ar)rest

So, I’m a bit concussed.  I was a little too ambitious on Sunday while surfing in San Diego’s Tourmaline Beach.

ANYHOO – I was told to go home today and rest after calling my boss by three different (wrong) names, stuttering through a training session and by entering expense report numbers backwards, leaving quite a mess for the finance team.  But do I EVER listen?  No.

I did go home though, eventually.  The doctor said to turn off my mind.  Specifically, to sit in a dark room and try not to think.  HA.  Other than sleep, what else does one do in a dark room?!  His response?  “If you had a sprained ankle, you wouldn’t jog.  So don’t exercise your brain.”  Which of course meant, go run all the house errands you’ve been putting off doing.  Starting with the backyard…..

Today I learned that the backyard is actually covered in a grass called St. Augustine Grass.



How my mother knows these things is beyond me.  But there you have it, I have tropical grass in my backyard that is a medium to high maintenance grass.  I don’t do anything to it but mow it from time to time…so that’s low enough maintenance for me!

Also, grapes are growing!  There are a few more clusters than there were last year, which is another marker for success for me.  They’re not table ready, nor will they be wine ready, but one day!  These are my Edelweiss variety:



And, as I was pruning the vines, I harvested some leaves for dolma.  Since I’ll be leaving for World Cup next week, I’ve pushed up my summer get together to this weekend.  If all goes according to plan, I should be able to have about two dozen stuffed grape leaves for consumption of a lucky (read: brave) few.


And that about sums up my afternoon/evening.  Since I was on “house arrest,” I got to catch up on correspondence, chat with some friends around the country and world.  Change my sheets.  Play with the turtle.  Skipped out on DC Shorts judging and meeting up with a friend in town from Chicago (shout out TJo!), but I guess sometimes you just gotta harvest your grape leaves, sit in a dark room and play with your turtle.



My Olive Grove!


A few months ago, my mother and I volunteered at DC Central Kitchen through St. Matthew’s Social Justice Progran called “Single Serving of Service.” Someone had donated three restaurant sized cans of olives that they needed pitted for salads and use. So for a few hours one dreary Saturday, I was able to hone my olive pitting skills.

As we were leaving, Chef was just about to throw the pits away when I asked if I could take a handful. I literally turned my latex glove inside out and put as many pits as I could stuff in there. The stuffed glove sat outside the rest of winter until finally I decided to throw them in the ground.

I didn’t think they’d make it. I didn’t think it’d work. In fact, these olives were in an oily brine to begin with, frozen over night while outside in the elements – what were the chances?!

But here you are friends – a picture of my little olive grove of seedlings, care of the folks at DC Central Kitchen. If they make it, I plan to give some back to the kitchen for their own propagation. Doubtful they’ll bear fruit, but I’ve obviously underestimated them thus far. I hope these little guys keep proving me wrong.