Monday, February 27, 2017

As the Garden Grows

Rain, rain, rain. That has been my garden's theme this rather mild winter in Northern California. While this makes me want to hoard even more rain barrels just in case this summer is a dry one, it also has convinced me that I never want to live in a climate where this much rain is normal. Don't get me wrong - we needed this rain. But, the earlier rains in January and December I blame for making me restless. And, since I hate being out in the rain, I also blame the rain for making me and Sesame out of shape. I'd be a sloth if I lived in Portland or Seattle. Well, at least now I know that I'm meant for a climate with more sun.

If anyone wants to see more garden photos, my current obsession, you can find them at  @foggyveggiegarden on Instagram. I'm cramming by brain with books on high-yield gardening, permaculture (fascinating!), and dreaming of a south-facing garden. My current garden gets 6 hours of direct sunlight, at most, and it's bumming me out. However, I have managed to grow a fair amount of greens (and purples and reds) for us to eat this winter. 

The beauty of our mild climate is that I can grow food all year round, even though our lack of light makes the vegetables somewhat stunted compared to a sunnier local. Our neighbor across the street has the perfect vegetable-growing space, and I covet it daily. Yet, I can't really complain. Other parts of this country are buried in snow.

My other obsession, still, is my Instant Pot, the kitchen appliance I never thought I'd want yet now can't imagine living without. I haven't been without homemade stock since getting this device. I've also made Vietnamese yogurt multiple times, pho ga, countless Indian dishes, and amazake (much maltier than I expected in comparison to the amazake I buy from the store). My Instant Pot has replaced my slow cooker, and surprisingly, my fancy pants rice cooker. I can make perfect jasmine rice in 20 minutes, no lie! My fancy rice cooker will probably go to a relative soon.

Sesame and Greaseball are doing well. Greaseball is as grumpy as ever, and Sesame continues to become a better dog, although I'm resigned that she loves the boy more than me. I feed her, train her, and walk her, but all the boy needs to do is exist to be the apple of her eye. If he's watching television, she's watching him. If he's working at home, she's by his feet. When he plays the bass, she's his biggest fan. Can you tell I'm annoyed by this? I reason that because of this, I get to pick out our second dog, too. So far, he's not buying it.


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