Whoops. I try to stay on top of rogue fruit by checking all around leafy plants, but alas, occasionally one gets away. I found this monstrous cucumber yesterday. It was hidden deeply, camouflaged by the foliage. For comparison, this is a pickling variety that is supposed to be harvested at a fraction of this size.
It’s the height of the harvest season, and while I know not all of you are into growing food, it’s practically impossible to be a gardener without growing at least one edible plant: a special variety of mint because nothing else will do in a mojito; hot peppers because their diversity fascinates you (this is me by the way), or simply just ’cause.
That said, this one is for the food gardeners and eaters. Late summer is when most of us are bringing in the big hauls and when our grower’s pride really kicks in.
My friend Uli Havermann has the most inspiring garden. [Note: you might remember Uli from the community greenhouse and this incredible succulent pot.] She manages to bring a passion for foliage and a love for vintage metal and terra cotta together in a way that is visually mind-blowing.
I first met Uli when I visited the garden that she shares with her partner Paul Zammit on a Toronto Open Gardens day way back in 2010. I did not do any research on the gardens that I would be visiting on that day, and had no idea what to expect. But the moment we drove up to Uli and Paul’s, I knew I was in for something special.
Canning jars are everywhere in my home. There are jars in the fridge and freezer, and populating the cupboards and shelves in my kitchen. Many are bursting with dried goods of all sorts and others are filled with assorted and sundry floating in acidic and syrupy liquids — an apothecary of deliciousness. There are other jars still; in my office, basement, and even in the garden. I use jars to hold my surplus of self-saved seed, and others to house crafting and home repair supplies. There are jars in the bathroom stuffed with handmade epsom salts, cotton balls, and Q-tips. Jars are used to transport road trip meals and others affixed with water-tight plastic lids make it possible for us to bring our own home brewed cappuccinos to go.