Doing A Little Garden Catchup

Boards are over! Hooray!! I procrastinated some garden things while I focused on boards, so now I get to catch up with gardening. 🙂 Here’s the short list for today:

  1. Cut back marigolds.
  2. Plant rooted Thai basil
  3. Plant sprouted plum seeds.

First on the list is cut back the marigolds. I did this in the morning before work, so I would have daylight. I initially planned to cut the plants all the way down or rip them out entirely, but I they are still blooming, and I don’t have anything planned for this space, so….

…I decided to just cut off the dead blooms. I hadn’t deadheaded at all over the summer and fall. I actually don’t really mind the spent blooms, but I’m not the only one who lives here, and I recognize it can become a bit of an eyesore.

Here’s the after:

Not all that much better (I missed a few blooms, plus the camera angle is off in the second image). These marigolds live to see another day!

Next up: Thai basil!

These Thai basil cuttings have grown long whiskery roots, so it’s time to pot them up.

Done. Easy peasy.

The Thai basil in the garden is actually still alive, so maybe I didn’t need to do this at all…maybe Thai basil is hardy enough to overwinter in our climate outside? I’ll let you know in April how it fared.

Lastly, plum seeds:

I believe I told you last week that two more plum seeds have sprouted

Well, the one on the left has since rotted. C’est trop tragique. But the one right is still growing.

And now it has been potted in dirt.

Ta Da! Here is my mini window container garden. The plum is in the middle, Thai basil on the right, and the jade plant cuttings are on the left.

All this only took maybe 20 minutes all together. I just couldn’t muster the energy or courage to do them amidst boards and work. All I needed was to make a list. Nothing beats the satisfaction of crossing tasks off a To Do list!

Another One Bites the Dust

When this post goes live, I will be about to take the first of three days of pathology board exams. So, you will have to forgive me for having neglected my plum tree.

I forgot to water it, and it’s dead.

Fortunately, two more plum seeds have sprouted! I’m keeping them in the paper towel and waiting until after boards are over to plant them, though, so I can give them the proper care they deserve.

Wish me luck on my boards!

Mariposa Plum Harvest

Last Saturday, I volunteered with an organization called Village Harvest, which is an organization based out of the Bay Area that harvests fruit from fruit trees in the area and donates the fruit to food banks. Some of the fruit trees are on public property, and some of the fruit trees are on private property (the people who own the land donate the fruit to Village Harvest by allowing Village Harvest volunteers to pick the fruit).

They harvest all kinds of fruit throughout the season. The apricot season just ended here, and last Saturday was the first of the plum harvests. We picked Mariposa plums from a couple of clusters of plum trees (about 15 trees in total) on land near a law firm in Palo Alto (the land may or may not have been owned by the law firm – I wasn’t clear).

Mariposa plums are a kind of Japanese plum. It has small- to medium-sized fruit that are red with green spots on the outside and has red flesh inside. The volunteer coordinator, at the beginning of the harvest, told us that these plums “weren’t all that good raw” and were better cooked into baked goods or into spiced plum jam.

There were 12 of us volunteering that day, and we harvested over 400 lbs of plums!

The volunteers got to take home “seconds.” These are plums that we picked up off the ground, or fell on the ground as we were harvesting, or had a soft spot or blemish. Village Harvest can’t donate any fruit that has fallen on the ground because they can’t be sure that the fruit will be washed before it is eaten and they don’t want to be held liable for getting people sick from eating dirty fruit.


More plums for me!

I took home a good sized bag of plums.

I cooked them up in a clafoutis, since we had been told that they weren’t very good raw.

I forgot to get a photo before we cut into the clafoutis.

Turns out, the plums were delicious raw, and this clafoutis was not very good. It rose nicely, but it tasted bland and the texture just wasn’t right. I am enjoying the rest of the plums raw.