Kale and Potatoes, and Gifts from Jamaica

Our kale and russet potato garden is thriving this summer.

Gift from Jamaica: my friend just returned from Negril and brought me this mug, which I love. It brings back memories of my time in Jamaica, plus I love frogs!

We had an amazing Fourth of July weekend. I know this because I’m tired, sunburned, and smiling today. My husband and I took the boat out in Groton, Connecticut on Friday and Narragansett, Rhode Island on Monday. Saturday, we had a great early dinner at Three Figs in Suffield.

I did a not-so-good thing at dinner, and had a watermelon margarita. I was nice, but I felt bad about it after. Yesterday was Uposatha, so I recommitted to clean, alcohol-free veganism, forgave myself for being stupid, and moved on. It was a fabulous dinner anyway. After dinner, I worked on the gardens, and my husband worked on the boat.

We planted kale and russet potatoes as companion plants in the food garden this season. They’re working really well together. There is very little insect damage on the kale. Both are growing like mad. This weekend, we pulled lots of green beans from the bushes, several summer squash, and trellised more watermelon and cucumber vines. There are tiny cucumbers everywhere.

I hogged the raw green beans, my favorite raw, fresh-from-the-garden summer veggie. We tied up the tomato plants, which are now spreading horizontally as well as vertically. We gave this year’s garden lots of row space, and don’t want to lose it to insane tomato growth. There’s going to be a lot of tomatoes this year.

A friend of mine just returned from Jamaica with a couple of gifts for me: a bottle of Jamaican iron tonic (great for my anemia), and the coolest mug I’ve had in a while. I love this mug because it features a frog, one of my favorite animals, and it brings back great memories of my visit to Jamaica years ago.

I remember the perfect island air and how the local mangoes tasted. I never before and haven’t since tasted a mango like the ones right off trees in Jamaica. I munched sugarcane and drank fresh young coconut water every day. We walked everywhere, but rented a scooter one day and rode from one side of the island to the other. I love this mug for many reasons. I’m drinking tea from it right now.

I’m very happy to report that the Meyer lemon tree is recovering from a little too much nitrogen I applied last week. Suddenly, the leaves began to wilt, and I knew right away what was happening. So, I removed the plant from the pot, tossed the soil in the compost bin, cleaned the pot, cleaned all the soil from the roots, rinsed the roots in water, then soaked the roots in clean water, changing it several times, for about an hour.

Then I repotted the plant in fresh soil. Because the plant was stressed, and the root system had been tampered with in a big way, I’ve kept it watered but not soggy, and have applied no fertilizer at all. Yesterday was the first day that it was looking completely recovered, with the loss of just a few leaves. I think it’s going to be all right, and we may even get lemons this year.

Today’s lunch is vegan banana bread cinnamon French toast. Veganism is introducing me to vegan versions of my favorite breakfast foods, like coconut Belgian waffles, buckwheat blueberry pancakes, and banana bread French toast. I’m pretty much eating the best food I’ve ever had in my life right now.

Live in peace.

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