Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sunflowers and cauliflower

Yellow leaves are falling and the crisp cooler temperatures of autumn are here. Most of the Birch still have a majority of green leaves, but there are a few trees that are already completely golden. We have had enough rain over the last week to make up for our dry summer, or so it seems. We welcomed the rain when it began. Enjoying the rain on the tin roof while we slept. Watching the mushrooms pop up from the spongy forest floor. Before long we were bemoaning yet another day of rain, checking the weather forecast and wondering if we were ever going to see the sun again...revealing our true finicky nature.

Thankfully the weather cleared up today and the kids and I enjoyed our morning chore routine together. We harvested a couple eggplant, zucchini and a nice size cauliflower head. I made a layered eggplant, zucchini, cauliflower and tomato dish with lots of fresh herbs, goat cheese, olive oil and bread crumbs for dinner. Last year we had such a rainy cool summer that many of my sunflowers succumbed to frost before ever blooming. This year the sunflowers began blooming in July and are still looking impressive.

Broccoli Romanesco. I've got several heads yet to harvest and they are big and solid. Romanesco has the texture and a similar flavor as cauliflower but with a fun shape and a lime green color and was easier to grow. They are not early maturing and I didn't know how well they would do as it was my first summer growing Romanesco. I am a fan.

This is my third summer attempting cauliflower. The first summer it bolted and got ricey. Last summer I had tight but tiny heads. This year I have nice heads, they are still growing and keeping well in the cool temperatures. I've got a few purple cauliflower plants as well, but their heads are barely existent but growing. At this rate I wouldn't be surprised if we get a couple more weeks before a hard frost.

Noah and Avery are beginning to pall around more and more. She is starting to play more independently but also loves it when Noah plays with her. He tries to get her to follow him around or copy him, but she goes her own way. He ends up following Avery around, crawling after her and mimicking her actions, much to her delight. We've had such a dry summer that for weeks I've been able to put Avery on the ground in the garden and she crawls around, gets a bit dirty but is past eating inedibles and such. This week has been more challenging as she is use to getting down but the ground is muddy. She puts up quite a fuss when I try to leave her on my back or put her in the play pen. Recent accomplishments include going up and down the stairs, standing on her own and taking a few steps. She has taken up to six steps on a couple occasions. Fortunately it will be a little while yet before she is running around.

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