September 20, 2014: Omelet with a golden tomato, garlic chives, and purple basil

During the last few miles of my 13 mile run this morning, I was planning how to concoct a breakfast omelet with food from my garden. As I thought about what I could add to the eggs and cheese, I knew one ingredient would be a golden tomato. Several have ripened in the past week and I need to use them soon. Basil crossed my mind, as did garlic chives, the latter having just bloomed white star-shaped florets sent up from the grass-like clumps. So, for the last bit of my run, this is what kept me going! And it was tasty. As I was outside cutting the herbs, I noticed a baby squash. There are now over a dozen blossoms on the zucchini and yellow squash plants.

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September 15, 2014: Fall’s first squash blossom

Today marked the emergence of the first bright yellow squash blossom, though I can’t tell yet if it’s from a zucchini or yellow squash plant. They look alike to me! I picked another couple pounds of tomatoes, and left many more to ripen on the vine. The morning glory tendrils have continued to wrap around stalks and climb up the fence. They’re everywhere. I wonder if they’ll last until the first frost. The tomatoes are on their way out, as the leaves fade and the final fruits turn red before the overnight temperatures dip and fall arrives. Meanwhile, McBaine still enjoys the firewood, which he considers his outdoor toys.

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September 6, 2014: Ready for #gardentour2014

Today is the day! The South Philly Garden Tour, presented by the South Philly Food Co-op, starts at 1pm. I’m all ready for the 150-200 participants who will brave the heat! And my checklist is complete:

- Infused water with spearmint from my garden: check.
– Fresh tomatoes for snacks: yup!
– Balloons and signage out front: thanks to the volunteers.
– Goodies from Kermit’s Bake Shoppe, one of the sponsors: yum.
– A gorgeous floral arrangement in a mason jar from Jig-Bee flower farm: yes indeed!

Hope to see you here!

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September 5, 2014: Eve of the Garden Tour

Tomorrow is the South Philly Garden Tour! 1-4pm. My garden is one of the 20+ stops. Rain date is Sunday.

Tonight, tablescaping is in process: a few gardening books, an issue of Sunset magazine, and cards with info on this blog and on McBaine (since some of the advance promotion of the Garden Tour included mention of my cancer-sniffing dog). The fur-kids are helping!

I will be serving mint infused water (with spearmint from my garden, of course) from a new glass beverage dispenser, so I have some cups set up for that, and have copies of the recipe. I also have a couple pounds of tomatoes for guests to snack on.

But first, the Philly 10k! The race starts just a few blocks from my house at 7:30 tomorrow morning. Time for bed!

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August 13, 2014: The 4th Annual South Philly Garden Tour

My backyard green space in Passyunk Square will be one of the 20 stops on this year’s South Philly Garden Tour, presented by the South Philly Food Co-op. The self-guided tour, on Saturday, September 6 from 1 to 4 p.m. (rain date September 7), will include 20 gardens between 2nd to 10th, Fitzwater and Moore Streets. An after-party will be held at The Industry at Moyamensing and Reed. The event has already received some early press from Philadelphia Magazine and Passyunk Post. In the latter, Albert Stumm lists 7 highlights (see below). Take a look at number 4! You can purchase tickets (proceeds will benefit the Co-op) here.

From Passyunk Post:

Stops on this year’s tour include:

  • A woman who started gardening in 1999 when she bought her home on Ellsworth Street that happened to have ample backyard space, and has since become a professional gardener
  • The only Japanese tea garden in South Philly
  • A garden that’s been tilled by the same family for five generations
  • A gardener whose dog (trained to detect ovarian cancer) has been digging up her in-ground vegetables, so she converted most of her huge garden to containers
  • East Passyunk Crossing Gardens, still in development and making plans to work with students and local refugee populations
  • The Wishing Well, which grows its own herbs for specialty cocktails
  • A community garden featuring several Isaiah Zagar murals