By LYNNE IRONS
I have no business writing a garden column. I do whatever I want and follow no rules. The good news is that I am eating the fruits of my labors. Last weekend I was able to put several containers of snow peas into the freezer. I tore off the stems and strings, blanched for a minute in boiling water, and chilled them in cold water. They were still crispy and will be great this winter in stir-frys or pot pies.
Just when I think I cannot do one more thing, the freezer comes to the rescue. I hauled out a loaf of homemade bread (there is no bread-making in summer). I chiseled off a couple of slices and heated them in a pan of olive oil and a big slab of St. Andre’s cheese. I dumped a saute of tiny patty pan squash and garlic over it and got completely happy. The patty pans were my first pick of the season and were no bigger than 50-cent pieces. I believe the variety was Green Tint. I love zucchini and summer squash in their infancy.
I am happy I neglected to weed my strawberries. It seems to have thwarted the birds and for once I ate a few. Of course, with the damp weather the slugs are out in force. What despicable creatures. Don’t you hate to touch one by accident and have their disgusting slime on your hand?
I finally got the last of the tomatoes into the ground. By now the area which received them is chin-high in weeds but no matter. I dug a small hole, added one forkful of Nip ’n Tuck cow manure, a soup can of Pro-gro and hoped for the best. Then I took a big stack of New York Times and Boston Globes into the patch along with a couple of bales of hay. I placed three sections in a triangle around the tomato and covered with a small amount of hay. Hopefully it will keep the weeds at bay long enough for the plants to get some size. I figured newspaper is free and biodegradable. The hay keeps the paper from blowing about and from appearing unsightly. The fun part was I kept sitting down and reading some op-eds.
I picked the first fava beans. They are a great addition to any vegetable garden. They, like peas, can be planted early and will take a freeze. The plant itself is a beautiful blue-green — similar to Baptisia. The flowers are black and white. The bean itself comes from a large fleshy pod easily six inches long. It is like an enormous lima bean. I picked 10 or 12 and had enough to make an interesting soup.
How about Gov. Mark Sanford? There is no limit to the hypocrisy of the right-wing politician. This is a guy who was one of the first to go after Bill Clinton. He is involved with the lobby for the Defense of Marriage Act. I guess he wants to destroy his own marriage before some same-sex couple does it for him?!?