Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Porch Garden

When we moved into this apartment four years ago we did so in a panic.  We were moving back home to Vermont after four years of college in Boston and the apartment we had lined up for us here fell through a week before our move.  So I drove up one day on my own to view this apartment just a few days before we had to be out of our Boston apartment, did a quick walk through, shook our landlords hand and we moved in two days later. 

It was a smart decision, low rent, decent apartment, quite a bit of space, nice neighbors, and we knew our landlord through a family friend.  The icing on top of the cake though was that we had a porch.  It was in rough shape, but our landlord said he was planning on fixing it up anyway.  So year one went by and we left the porch empty and unused, so as not to be in the way when they were scraping it down and painting it.  Year two went by, no improvement.  Year three they finally started working on it, tearing shingles off the house (revealing, nice but needing a coat of paint clapboards), and started scraping down the paint on the porch.  Hooray, I would have a porch!  Well.  Starting to work on it was as far as it got, and then it looked worse. 

Our landlord is a great guy, but not so much of a project finisher shall we say.  So the first weekend in May, on a whim I decided to forget waiting and try to make it usable.  I went out and bought an indoor outdoor rug (for all areas except where my plants live), an adirondack chair, some flowers, brought down a sap bucket to use as a spot to set drinks etc., and planted some herbs and veggies.

In my garden I have a big clear plastic storage bin that I initially used with the top on as a makeshift greenhouse to grow two types of lettuce and some spinach (the spinach is bolting even though it never sent of any other leaves than the two initial leaves it grew when it sprouted...any ideas? I'm perplexed).  I also have two Roma tomato plants which have set three tomatoes so far, and a pot of dill, parsley, chives, mint, basil, and oregano.  I'm keeping a "garden" journal of what I'm planting and when and how they do.  I'm hoping that it will be a reference for future years. 

Our little porch garden is far from perfect, but it serves the purpose and I can't even begin to tell you how happy it is making me.  Why didn't I do this sooner?

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Farmer's Diner

Has it really been almost a month since I've posted?  Oh my.  The end of the school year always catches me off guard, a few days last week I was not home until 9:00, but I am happy (and truthfully, equally sad) to say that I am finally on summer vacation. 

A couple of weeks ago, amidst the June bustle, we took a weekend drive and ended up in Quechee, VT.  We did a little antiquing (I found a piece of the depression glass pattern  I collect! Yippee!) and then went to the Farmer's Diner, a place I had been longing to go since reading about it in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

The whole premise of the restaurant is that most of the ingredients are locally sourced and organic when possible.  Food from here...what all restaurants should be.  I had an omelet with tomato, feta, and spinach and home fries that knocked my socks off.  We will be going back.  (And I will be buying one of those mugs).

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Traveling Down Winding Dirt Roads

Summer weekends mean going for drives, exploring brand new places and visiting already loved ones.  When I'm behind the wheel we almost always end up on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, when he's behind the wheel we almost always end up on a stretch of pavement headed somewhere more populated looking for a new adventure.  It's a good balance.

It was the first of many.