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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in gardening

 Italian Flat Leaf Parsley – UJAMAA SEEDS


“Only the wicked can grow parsley.”

I've long suspected that this old folk adage arose originally as something of a "sour grapes" response—you remember your Aesop, don't you?—parsley being notoriously difficult to grow from seed. “Rats, my parsley didn't germinate again. Oh well, I must be a good person, at least.”

As any gardener could tell you, parsley is a biennial. Year One, it produces those lovely, aromatic greens that the discerning among us relish, the next it flowers and (if you're lucky) sets seed.

In my house, parsley isn't so much a garnish as a vegetable. (In my Book of the Beast, tabouli is a parsley salad given textural interest with a schmeck bulgar.) Year after year, I would buy bedding plants and harvest through the summer and fall. Try as I might, though, I could never get them to overwinter.

Finally, last year, they did. They flowered. They set seed. Would they reseed themselves? I hoped, prayed, and waited.

Stop buying parsley, I texted a friend the other day. My reseeding plans have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.

Not a patch, but a bed of beautiful, organic Italian parsley. Oh, I foresee a summer—summers—of good eating ahead.

There's no rest for the Wicca, says a friend of mine, riffing off an old Hebrew proverb, when someone—me, for instancecomplains about being too busy. Maybe it's time to reclaim this old gardener's proverb, too.

Or maybe, outrageously, I'll claim my new version as the original. Everybody knows that witches have the best gardens, after all. Just ask Rapunzel's dad if you don't believe me.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Second Chance Tree Seedling

All gifts from the gnome are precious, but there is something very special about being given a second chance at a gift that I didn't manage to keep going the first time. (As long time readers of this blog may know, I call the land wight of my land the gnome because that's what he wants to be called. A few years ago I blogged about being given mimosa tree seedlings by the gnome, to my delight.)

I love the mimosa tree which I grew from seed. It shades the south side of the house. It's blooming right now and it smells wonderful. A few years ago it made some seedlings which I tried my best to carefully nurture, hand watering them, and periodically cutting the chives and parsley that kept growing close enough to shade them or block the sprinkler or just generally overwhelm the tiny little trunks.

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The Minoan Herb Garden and Spice Cabinet

Last time, we looked at what kinds of vegetables the Minoans grew in their gardens. But they needed to season those veggies so they were especially tasty to eat, right? So what kinds of herbs and other seasonings did they use?

The first and most obvious one is salt. Like other island-dwelling people, the Minoans used sea salt. It's easy to make - just collect up some sea water and evaporate the liquid, using heat from the Sun or from fire. The Minoans were surely doing this all the way back in the Neolithic, though most of the evidence for it comes from later on.

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A few weeks back, I asked my friends and readers: Should I put the little terracotta Garden Goddess out:

  1. when I till, or
  2. when I plant, and
  3. why?

Interest in the question has been keen, and discussion lively: my thanks to everyone who took the time to consider, and to reply.

So let me tell you what I ended up doing, and why I so chose. Here's a teaser: the Great Pagan Sin.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I love frogs and toads. I used to play with them as a child in California’s Central Valley, and my dad nicknamed me for them. Later, as a teenager in Sonoma, I saved tree frogs when their marsh habitat was drained for development, transferring them to our yard. Here in Nevada, I’ve put frog and toad statuettes all over the back yard, for many reasons: because I like them, because they are traditional garden helpers, and because people have given me these artworks over the years because they knew I liked frogs. So, it shouldn’t be surprising to find a tiny ceramic frog in my garden, except the ones I put there weren’t under the earth.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Honoring the Gods Where I Am

I live in the southwest of the USA, in the Mojave Desert, in Nevada, in Henderson, in Green Valley. This ecosystem is nowhere near the origin point of the heathen group of faiths, of which Asatru is one, which was in Northern Europe. Some things don't change-- the moon is the same from any place on Earth-- but proper times to celebrate harvest are very different here. Also, I live within a very different culture even from today's Europe, let alone the Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, or even the Viking Age.

Yet, I think my simplest rituals are not too different from what the ancient heathens did. Even here, in this very different place. Even though I'm speaking modern English. Even when my perception of what is special and unique enough to be fitting to give to the gods is filtered through a modern understanding of science, as when I became excited and awestruck over a chimera pear and decided to eat it in honor of the gods.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Sounds delicious!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Earlier this year I bought a persimmon tree and a pawpaw tree from Edible Landscaping. They are both still alive and growing tall

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Radical Hope

Last night I read the news about Cape Town, and then dreamed that my garden died.

I live in a condo in Los Angeles, so my garden is small and fragile and mostly in containers: calendula and tulsi and borage and lemon balm in pots and window boxes, selfheal that's dying no matter what I do, jasmine and passionvine that twine around each other in bombastic friendship, nasturtiums that cascade in a curtain of friendly little circles. Baby blue eyes and violet seedlings growing in a flat. Cleveland sage in a pot, since the soil is mostly clay, and sagebrush and California fuschia in the ground, since they can tolerate that clay. I had to fight with my building manager to put plants in the bare dirt behind the building, even though I'm on the HOA board; status quo bias is so strong that people trust ugly cracked ground more than they trust small, quiet plants. (I won the rest of the board over partly by telling them my unit's property values are suffering because of the eyesore that is the dirt. In reality I don't care much about the property values, but a witch uses the tools in her toolbox; she shapeshifts when she needs to.)

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