K and I are home from running around all night – garden first, then to BJ’s to buy a Coleman 4 person tent. I’m not a huge fan of Coleman, to me they make “fake” camping stuff, but this is a four person tent that’s going to be our new “car camping” tent, so it doesn’t need to be hardcore. Car camping is whenever you only have to lug your camping gear a short way from your car, so you pack everything and your mother. We are going camping this weekend! I booked the site last night. Then did some Googling, and found out the black flies are out in force 😦 Boo. I hope we don’t regret this. We have to go buy head nets tomorrow. So we bought this tent to be more comfortable this weekend, rather than try to fit into our 2 person Eureka backpacking tent.
That’s the rule for camping -to be super comfortable, you need a tent that holds double the number of people you actually have! So really, our Eureka fits one comfortably 😉 But when backpacking, you want your load to be as light as possible – so we have a light, small tent. Though we’re technically not car camping this weekend, as we have to canoe to our site, there’s no real hiking involved – we’ll paddle right up the campsite, so whatever we can fit in the canoe we can bring. Hurray big tent, big cooler and camping chairs!
But before we went to buy that, we stopped at the garden. Speaking of the garden – I got a call from Jenny at CBCG this morning asking me if K and I would be willing to be interviewed for an article that’s going to be in the Daily Gazette on Sunday! So cool. Of course we said yes, and the reporter called me this afternoon. I explained to her that we were new gardeners, previous to this the most we’d done was grow tomatoes on our deck. I tried to tell her about my local, organic focus, but honestly, I didn’t do a good job speaking. K probably would have been better. Either way, I’m excited to see what, if anything, she uses in her article!
So, back to the garden…we weeded AGAIN (we’re going to be tons of that throughout the summer, and I’m already tired of it), and K planted the eggplants. Yesterday he mulched one of the salad beds, and that looked really good, but the beds I weeded last week already need it again…sigh…
Took a look at the rest of the garden. Holy cow, the sugarsnap peas are shooting up!
This was them last week:
This was them today, 4 days later!
We’re going to need to stake them next week if this keeps up.
Now I’m going to admit to something. Our next plot neighbor we’ve met once, and he hasn’t been back and so far his plot is lying fallow. The tillers came through last week and turned over all his dirt, but the boundaries between our gardens, was, for obvious reasons, left un-tilled. There’s some red lettuce growing on the border between our two plots, that was planted by whoever had the plot last year, so tonight, the hubby and I laid claim to the borderland and transplanted some red lettuce to our garden. Hey, the guy hasn’t even been there, it’s on the line, and it would be a shame to go to waste 🙂 Plus, it would add some nice color to our salads 🙂 The lettuce is bigger than ours at this point, probably as a result of being planted last year.
So yea, I feel a little guilty, but not too much. It was a gray area.
Anyway, the title for this post is due to the strange guy who bothered us at the garden tonight. The garden is not in the best part of town, but it generally feels ok to be in, though I don’t feel comfortable being there by myself. Our plot is in the front of the garden, and people walking by can easily see me through the chain link fence. The people living around there do try to strike up conversations from time to time, but I put on my NYC face and don’t look and only mumble responses. Generally, however, we don’t lock ourselves in the garden.
But tonight was creepy. I’m picking parsley in one of the beds at the front and I see out of the corner of my eye a car drive slowly by. Then it turns around just down the street (I could still see it) and slowly comes back. It stops, then goes a little more, then parks. Some old guy gets out, and I just keep my head down and keep picking. I think the guy thought I was alone, because K was bent over working on another bed, but the guy comes over and stares at me for a minute as I straighten up and start walking to the back of the plot. K has learned by now not to engage people and does a really good job of not looking at anyone making noise in the street, but as I passed him, murmuring about the guy, he straightens up, and the guy sees him for the first time. I guess the guy realized I wasn’t alone and started asking K questions through the fence. “I have a garden in the other one,” he said (referring to the multiple community gardens in Schenectady. “But how do you grow spinach?” (K was directly in front of the spinach, weeding). “I can’t get my spinach to grow.”
Um, yeah, anyone I’ve ever met from another garden always says the name of the garden they’re from – not “the other one.” There’s multiple gardens. Plus, do you know how easy it is to grow spinach? Throw some seeds down, water and voila – spinach. It’s not rocket science. K started explaining what’d we done with our spinach (nothing special) and I basically pretended to really study the strawberries. Another guy who we’ve seen before and chatted with (friendly and not creepy) walked by too and said hi, and I was grateful someone else happened to be in the area, but he kept going.
Finally K walked over towards me to put the hose away as the guy stood there, and I started freaking out. “Is the gate open?” I asked K, as we’ve never locked the gate behind us when we’re in the garden before, and I was really regretting that. “Yea, it is,” he murmured back to me. “I’ve started locking it when I’m working in here.”
Thank God. We totally faked puttering around for a long few minutes, putting everything away, until the guy got back in his car, and left. He went around the corner though, and we didn’t know if he would be back, so we got the heck out of dodge, locking the garden back up behind us and jumping in the car. Ugh…
But as I said before, I picked some of our flourishing parsley for dinner tonight. On the menu is some Trader Joe’s lobster ravioli with homemade tomato sauce with meatballs that we made last year and froze. It already had parsley in it, but I wanted to use what we had at the garden.
This year, instead of freezing, we hope to can the tomato sauce with the meatballs inside!
I love our meatballs. At the farmer’s market last year, we bought a pound each of ground beef, ground pork and ground pork and spent an afternoon making and frying them. Tonight we’re eating the last batch.
Tomorrow is Friday!