Monday, August 16, 2010

Roots on the Roof: Where in the world?

Greetings intrepid blog fans! I was gone for a few weeks, way gone, in some places where very little grows. Just returned to good old NYC (doesn't look like the place got much sleep while I was gone, but at least the heat wave broke). My sweetheart and I spent a couple weeks checking out America, driving from Denver up to Montana, down through Yellowstone and Wyoming and Idaho and Utah and Nevada, finally winding up in California. We passed through some serious void, places like the salt flats in Utah, where a sticky white crust covers the earth as far as the eye can see, and rainbows and lightning battle it out on the hazy horizon and there's nothing to hear but wind. And maybe a little Pink Floyd if you're lucky.

But along the way, in between the hundred mile stretches of desert and dust, we saw some amazing farms, gardens, and greenhouses. People all over are planting something, folks. Up in Bozeman, Montana, my cousin Colmer's girlfriend Loren had singlehandedly planted an enormous vegetable garden in her backyard, which will soon be producing enough to feed the extended family and then some.

Out in Lake Tahoe, California, Sean's brother designed and built this brilliant greenhouse in his backyard. At an elevation of over 6,000 feet, and with an extremely short growing season, this simple structure now shelters thriving tomatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, herbs, lettuce, peas, squash, and more. The air inside was fresh and rich and warm.

And as for our own little rooftop experiment in vegetable production, we returned to find that our plants survived our absence and the heat and horrors of the city in August. This is all thanks to our very devoted friend Diane, who faithfully climbed our stairs twice a day to douse our plants with water. Much to our amazement, we've been harvesting big, fresh cucumbers, sweet little cherry tomatoes, and slightly scalded purple peppers, and there's more on the way.

So what now? If the cukes keep on coming I will be experimenting with pickling, and I am super excited about it. Didn't you always think that it took a long time to turn something into a pickle? Apparently, it only takes a day or two.



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