A patch of green dotting every residential landscape is the mainstay of typical American suburbia. Come spring, the lawn becomes the focal point of yard maintenance. But is your yard safe for your pets, children and the environment?
Good news! The cherry tomatoes in my yard are starting to ripen. I plucked one off the vine today and tasted it. Yum-O!! The red ‘Sweet 100’ stands up to its name – crisp, sweet and juicy. The ‘Yellow Pear’ looks gorgeous. It has a milder taste and is a little soft on the inside. I am waiting for more tomatoes to ripen so I can make this Cherry Tomato Orzo Salad with my own harvest.
Last year, my tomato plants were a total flop. Stunted growth and a few green tomatoes was all that I got. I guess the weather never really got warm enough for those heat-loving plants. This year, I hope it is going to be a different story. I have a game plan in place starting with larger starts, season extenders, drip irrigation and timely doses of organic fertilizer. I am going to ‘baby’ my tomatoes. I have chosen to plant cherry tomatoes this year, simply because they are incredibly prolific, they ripen earlier in the season and are more tolerant of weather fluctuations. And of course, I am just longing to eat one, plucked right from the vine.
Coffee!! Just what I need to perk up my day. As I pick up my espresso at the Café Ladro counter, I ask them if I could have some coffee grounds. The girl at the counter is surprised and happy – “We have just started giving our coffee grounds away, free for everyone” she says. I tell her that I am more than happy to take all she has got because they do ‘wonders’ in my garden.
The Pickering Barn Garden in Issaquah is a community learning garden that demonstrates organic food growing techniques, promotes healthy soil building, resource conservation and eco-friendly gardening practices. The green roofs and rain barrels on site are examples of sustainable living in urban landscapes.