Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunday in the park, with garden

Sunday afternoons are so lovely. It's especially wonderful when we get up and out early enough to get to Mass at 8:30 so that we're home early with the whole day ahead of us. But what to do with that whole day? Typically we either take the train into Manhattan and wander around or go for a drive. Margaret was strongly lobbying for the latter this past Sunday. Eric pulled up a map and made us a list of parks we'd never been to while I put together a picnic dinner.

Making dinner has been a blast lately. Our garden is doing really well. All the lettuce sprouted but between our late start (we could have planted in mid-March) and slugs it was awhile before we got our first harvest. The slugs had us stumped for awhile: they'd emerge each evening just after dark and munch our young leaves down to nothing. After a bit of research we decided that hand-harvesting was the best bet. We--and by "we" I mean Eric unless the kids are up late--keep a slug stick stuck in one corner of our planter box. Each evening we head out, use the stick to pull off any slugs we find and drop them in a cup of salt water. I love animals but I love lettuce more.

Once we got on top of the slugs the lettuce went crazy. We've made lots and lots of salads and we just pulled out some bolted plants and started a second planting. We'll see how that goes. One of the lettuce varieties didn't do as well so we put some parsley in that space.

And we added a mint plant to one end although we hear that mint spreads so we might move that to a dedicated planter.

We also have cilantro and basil on the roof of our shed.

Between our garden and our weekly produce deliveries we've been eating well: lots of salad, lots of pesto, a yummy caprese salad for our picnic last night. We are definitely planting a much bigger garden next year. I never would have thought that container gardening would work so well.

But back to our Sunday. We opted to explore Palisades Park which is on the Hudson River, straddling the George Washington Bridge on the New Jersey side. It's a long, skinny park and it is very pretty but it is largely hiking/biking with some small marinas along the water. We were hoping for more of a "picnic spot with picturesque view." The first place we stopped seemed to promise this but after a few minutes we noticed that the water on the path was rapidly encroaching on our bench. Who knew the Hudson River was tidal?

We found a nice little picnic area and enjoyed our dinner. We are still loving Joseph's FreeWheel. It's great to see him getting around on sloped, bumpy, thorn-riddled terrain.

And here's a couple shots of my new haircut, courtesy of me. I've tried a couple hair salons since leaving Minnesota and the results was always a bad hair cut and less money in my wallet. So I did a little googling, got out my scissors and had at it.

I needed to do a couple of rounds over a day or two to get close to what I was going for but I'm pretty happy with the result. And it was free! Can't complain about spending zero dollars on a decent haircut. Eric has proclaimed it the best haircut I've ever had.


Robyn said...

DIY hair?!? What's it going to be next?!? I'm totally impressed!

Emily said...

Haircut looks the post on the Johnston family Sunday!! Good to see your garden is flourishing....we have a few almost ready tomatoes and some basil. This is the third attempt at basil this season....I am craving pesto!! :)