Late harvest

Posted by Anita on 11.23.08 11:55 PM

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**I was going to title this post “Last harvest”, but then I realized — even in our fairly seasonal garden — that our harvest never really ends. The lemon tree is ever-bearing, and is coming into its peak fruit-picking season. The bergamot is busting out all over; it dropped a fruit today — which is almost certainly hollow, but plenty good for making one of our favorite liqueurs.

Our makrut (kaffir lime) tree is growing so large that it needs a fairly major pruning; when that happens, we’ll have enough aromatic leaves and fruit to supply a small Thai village. And although the lemon verbena is dying back to its canes, the plum tree has gone dormant, and the basil is long-since gone to seed, we’ll have most of our herbs — thyme, oregano, and sage — through the dark days.

Today we tackled two garden-related tasks: One in the kitchen, to put up a few bits of the 2008 season, and one at the lumber yard, to lay the ground work for 2009. Early in the day, I picked and sifted through piles of coriander and fennel seed, which I’d set aside a few weeks ago to dry. As you can see from the photo above, the color contrast between home-grown seeds — even when fully dry — and store-bought is fairly dramatic; the scent and flavor are even more astounding.

Later in the afternoon, we headed off to the suburbs in search of redwood decking. We’ve finally decided — after two years of avoiding reality — that our pretty patio is a luxury; even in our sunny ‘hood, we aren’t able to entertain outdoors more than a few times a year. So Cameron pulled out the gardening books, mapping out a plan to replace some of the slate pavers with raised garden beds. (I’m hoping he’ll pop by soon to tell you more about his construction plans and maybe even share his planting diagrams.)

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**

Dark Days challenge, garden, locavore



Comment by Jennifer Hess

That’s so exciting – I love the idea of putting in raised beds, and it’s something we’ve discussed for the future as well. Our little container garden was fine to start us off this year, but we’d love to be able to grow for ourselves the things we couldn’t get at the farmers’ markets around here.

Posted on 11.24.08 at 7:59AM

Comment by cookiecrumb

Eeeee! What fun. You will really enjoy it.
Besides, your downstairs deck is perfectly fine for entertaining… a couple of people.

Posted on 11.24.08 at 8:52AM

Comment by EB

I am so so jealous of your garden. I can at least look longingly at the community garden down the block but I am seriously covetous of yours.

Posted on 11.25.08 at 3:39PM

Comment by White On Rice Couple

Do you know how exciting it is for us to read about your garden projects? We really enjoy reading about seasonal changes to gardens and we’re going through some changes of our own.
Our kaffir lime tree can’t keep up with our cooking. You can always send some of your extras down to us! ;)

Posted on 11.27.08 at 10:42AM

Comment by Paula Maack

Oh my gods, that sounds heavenly!

I will have to get some bergamot immediately. Hmmm… where oh where am I going to find bergamot in Silicon Valley?

Your blog is wonderful. Thank you for the inspiration!

Posted on 11.30.08 at 3:13AM

Comment by Anita

Jen: We’ve been gardening around the edges of our yard — fruit trees and herbs, mostly — but now we’re ready to dive in, after three years. I can’t wait!

Cookie: Yup, that’s what we thought too.

EB: Someday, eh?

WoRC: Keep your eyes on the mailbox! :)

Paula: I don’t know where to find bergamots in the valley, sorry. We used to get them in Seattle at Whole Foods, but even then they were hit and miss. I’ve never seen them in the bay area; you could try asking the folks at Bi-Rite market in SF if they can get you some; they seem to be able to get their hands on a lot of specialty citrus.

We have our own tree and unfortunately we only get a fruit or two at a time, so we haven’t got enough to share yet. Maybe in a few years… :)

Posted on 11.30.08 at 8:40AM

Comment by Paula Maack

Thank you so much, Anita! I will try the Bi-Rite Market and see what that yields. I appreciate the lead, as well as the bergamocello recipe. And, I love your blog!


~ Paula

Posted on 12.01.08 at 1:16PM

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