One of these days I’ll get interested in plants and, you know, growing them. Mulching, winterizing, matching just the right organic pesticides to the pests we have, calling the agricultural extension about that curious white leaf rust. For now, though, photographing plants is about as good as it gets.
So here’s a slice of a Northern California fall for you, from a brown-thumbed person who nonetheless appreciates the greener things in life.
It’s November 2 and our tomato thicket is still producing tiny sweet tomatoes. They might even be better than Whoppers. Maybe.
I have nothing to do with these other than harvesting them. My husband planted them in April and created a drip system and set the timer to dutifully water them during the weeks in June when we went away on vacation. At some point in July I disconnected the drip to provide recreational water for the kids, and forgot to screw it back in again.
Then Husband left town for a week.
It was hot.
Those classic triple digit days seared what was left of my brain, and our little darlings got parched. But then their daddy was back and made them well again and we’ve been feasting on these wonders all fall.
From the riches of composting peels and yard waste, a green vine sprouted and grew as thick as the legs on my dining chair. One day I pulled back an elephant ear of a leaf and found this.
Our other compost pile volunteer is a wildly prolific tomatillo. I see green enchiladas in our future.
We can soon anticipate oranges and lemons from over the back fence.
Elsewhere in the neighborhood but sadly, not on properties contiguous to ours, persimmons and pomegranates are in. If we’re lucky someone will bring a bowl of these backyard beauties to church and set some out by the doughnuts.
(For a great tip about how to extract pomegranate seeds from the pithy membrane inside without getting splattered with red juice, scroll to the bottom of this post.)
When we were looking for houses to rent in Sacramento, we hoped to find one with fruit trees in the yard. Now that we’ve been here a few seasons and seen how fallen fruit attracts flies and bees, I’m glad to enjoy it from other people’s yards.
But we did get rose bushes with our house. Hubby deadheads them when he remembers to; at the moment they are getting a bit hippy.
Lining the driveway we have red and yellow roses. This pink and yellow one is around back. It’s my favorite.
My 4-year-old says it smells like sun shampoo.
Tip for removing pomegranate seeds, splatter-free, from their pithy membrane (just passing it on from my hero Alton Brown):
1. Split the pomegranate skin shallowly all the way around the outside.
2. Plunge pomegranate into a bowl of water.
3. With your hands and the fruit submerged, pull pomegranate open and pick the seeds out. Seeds will fall to the bottom of the bowl and pith will rise to the top.
4. Remove pith from the water’s surface and pour your bejeweled water through a strainer.