Labor Day

September 8, 2010
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I’ll admit, I crashed out over the weekend. I was so tired. I took naps. Repeatedly. I don’t do that.

But when Labor Day itself finally rolled around, I had enough energy and to spare, so while Uncle Pasto was barbecuing some fabulous smoked brisket, I spent most of the day working on the garden. I picked a huge bowlful of veggies, a half-cup of blueberries, and a bowlful of strawberries. I pulled out the watermelon vines and one of the tomatoes, and the tomatillo, which was pretty much dead. And then I transplanted my basil.

Y’see, a while back I found out that one of the basil plants I picked up turned out to be one of those designer perennial basils. This was totally by accident — I was just grabbing stuff that looked good when I went shopping, and didn’t realize that I’d gotten something like that. I’m squidgy about plants that have been patented, mostly because I’m not into subsidizing some of the large seed companies out there, and it’s hard as an average gardener to find out who originally bred your plant. (I’m perfectly willing to pay for peoples’ skill in plant-breeding; I just would rather my money go to small breeders.)

But I paid good money for it, and it’s tasty, and it’s absolutely huge — and in southern California, I’m not even sure I’ll need to overwinter it. I had no problems with my basil last year until frost struck hard. So it got transplanted from one of the veggie boxes out to the strawberry bed, and I set up some drip line for it. Not sure if it’ll survive the shock; if it lasts a week, I’m going to go chop a bunch of it back anyway, as it’s rather floppy without the tomatoes to lean on. So there’s that.

Then I started working on chopping back the lavender in the front yard. I took off a full trashcan’s worth from the two bushes in front. They’re starting to look a little peaked — sections are dying. It’s not really surprising; they’re supposed to live about seven years, and I think that’s about how long we’ve had them. We’ve been talking about a front yard makeover for a couple of months … it’s on the list of things to do at some point, but it probably won’t be any time soon.

After that, I crashed for about half an hour, and then started up some wing sauce out of the Ball yellow book. I had pretty much everything I needed to make it from the garden boxes. Wow. It’s pretty good, too — kinda tastes like tonkatsu sauce. Barely put a dent in my tomatoes, though. I’ve got at least as much as I used for the sauce left over! I’d initially planned to grow enough tomatoes that I could can if I wanted. I wasn’t intending on getting so many that I had to can or else! Notes made for next year in the garden binder.

And somewhere in there was noshing on brisket, and cucumber-jicama salad, and a little playing of Glory To Rome, which is a spiffy little card game that I enjoy very much. And dishes. Lots of dishes.

I had a good time. But I also have another date with my canner later this week! Overrun by tomatoes … send help!

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