Ode to Gardening

You all knew that you weren’t going to get through the summer without me waxing rhapsodic about my garden at least once. Wait no longer; today is the day.

The flowers are wild in the front… just about any color you can imagine but it’s my straw bales that are bringing me joy right now. Everything is flourishing beyond expectations.  The basil has exploded (pesto, here we come) and all the tomatoes are growing out of their tomato cages, with green tomatoes starting on all five plants.  Even the jalapeño is breaking all records for us.

And thanks to Linda, I have raspberry canes that are starting to pop. Today was the first day I picked enough to carry into the house (the last couple of days, raspberries went straight from cane to mouth).  Looks like there will be plenty of berries in the weeks to come.

As a city girl who never gardened growing up, all this generosity on the part of Mother Nature makes me absurdly happy. Every day I pinch the little flowers off the basil, pull the stray tomato stalks up through the tomato cage, water all the floral baskets, sigh deeply.  And then I think about Nathanial Hawthorne and his thoughts on gardening.

“I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green.”

~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from an Old Manse

What should I do with all my basil? Extra points if you can do it with a haiku.

33 thoughts on “Ode to Gardening”

      1. i saw him a month or tow ago and was going to make this my request if he asked. he opened thd second half with it and made it an elongated version. he obviously like this one too. what a great tune. what a great sentimnet

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, that looks wonderful. Of course I’ll have to wait until I have a working oven again. Next week.


        1. I am signed up for Service Plus. But in the middle of a hot summer , a broken oven is not considered life-threatening so they’re not coming until Tuesday.


        2. Gotcha

          I didn’t realize it was a recent occurrence

          Renee jam arrived I will report in on edibility tomorrow

          I can make it available to those who would like to partake

          By the way what is the bbc mandate for next meeting


  1. We’ve had decent luck freezing pesto in small “pucks”–one or two tablespoons. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap or wax paper, store in a ziplock freezer bag and enjoy all winter.

    I think fresh basil can also be frozen (in water?) not sure about that. We may have tried it years ago, but pesto to me is the way to go, other than making a ton of pasta sauce using fresh basil and freezing serving sizes of the sauce for the future.

    We’ve also made and frozen chive pesto because our damn chive plant keeps getting bigger and bigger and we can’t possibly eat that many chives over the course of a season. Not as tasty as basil pesto, but pretty good.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do freeze fresh basil but I freeze it with oil. I chop it up fine, put it into an ice cube tray and then pour a few drops of olive oil (maybe quarter of a teaspoon) into each tray. Works great for throwing into sauces and stews and soups during the winter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t tried this yet, but plan to try it this summer.

    1/2 cup kosher salt
    4 cups herb leaves, washed and dried (in your case, that would be basil)

    Whiz together or in food processor until finely chopped, but not a paste. I imagine if you don’t have a food processor, you could finely chop the herbs and kosher salt together.

    Put in a freezer container and freeze. They claim it tastes like fresh herbs because the salt and freezer preserve the herbs. Use it in soups or stews, season meat or fish or vegetables, add a pinch to salads (or salad dressings), toss it with popcorn.

    The other thing you can do with the basil now is put it on homemade pizza. Once your tomatoes are ripe, you can make a classic margherita pizza.

    Now I’m off to weed my herb bed.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. That’s a great idea. You could make whatever custom blends you want, put it in small, decorative jars, and hand them out as inexpensive, but nice gifts to friends. Thanks, ljb, for sharing the ides.


  3. I don’t like pesto. Kelly loves it and has a pot of basil… she aspires to make pesto… it doesn’t always happen.
    I planted too many radishes… I’ve eaten enough and there’s a lot to go.
    Just picked two kohlrabi last night.
    And black raspberries! So many and so big. Had a dish if ice cream last night with black raspberries on it; one of my favorites.
    Potato plants are towering and taking over the garden. Pumpkin and cucumber vines are spreading rapidly.
    I tried the carrot ‘tape’ and it took forever to come up and isn’t amounting to anything. Onions too, just never got going. Not sure. Too wet? Too hot? Too dry? Too cool? Too late?

    Freeze the basil.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We had a chilled tomato basil soup on one of those hot days – took a couple of pints of last year’s canned tomatoes, blended up with an early green pepper and the basis plus anything else in the herb garden now… a little (butter)milk if you want a Cream of Tomato Basil. Or:

    Blend up last year’s crop
    Of canned tomatoes, then add
    Herbs and milk and chill.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. My biggest pesto is pain. My phy. Ther. is pushing me towards mindfulness. She has suggested a couple references. Have any of you gone that route, have any suggestions? This is out of my comfort zone.


    1. I have read parts of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s
      Wherever You Go, There You Are – I figure you read as much as makes sense to you, sample some chapters.
      I enjoy Ekhart Tolle, but not everyone does:
      Power of Now and A New Earth

      Although I haven’t read it, I find Thich Naht Hanh very readable, and he has one called:
      The Miracle of Mindfulness.

      There’s also Ellen Langer, who writes about mindfulness in a more psychological framework:
      Mindfulness and The Power of Mindful Learning, which is the one I’ve read about half of.


    2. I think that you’ll find mindfulness in whatever form you choose to practice it, can be very effective and helpful, Clyde. I was extremely skeptical when I was first introduced to the concept of self-hypnosis, but by golly, it works. And mediation is a life saver, it truly can be. Do give it a serious try; it could change your life.


  6. The main Thing that we need to learn is how to take care of the flowers in summer.

    Thank You for sharing such a beautiful information and looking forward to hearing something new from you.


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