We Missed You!

Hello everyone!  I know its been a long time since we’ve posted, and for that I apologise. The busy holidays took over our lives and then we fell out of habit with blogging.  One major issue for me was that my old hand-me-down computer was on its last legs. Happily, after saving my pennies and with the help of my tax refund I got a shiny new MacBook last Friday and I am really excited to be back on track. With this new computer I will be able to publish knitting patterns with ease, edit pictures and blog blog blog!  I am going to republish the Falling Leaves (long overdue with corrections!) Scarflette, Wren Cowl and several other patterns that I have been writing and test knitting. I really am excited.

Yesterday I took a trip to the top of Manhattan to see the medival museum the Cloisters. Spring is certainly springing in the North East, there are bits of green pushing out of the black earth, buds are swelling on the trees. But its been cold. Soooo cold. So here’s proof that winter won’t last forever. Even though it feels like it!


So don’t be distressed my dears! Even though we’re still wrapped in winter coats and hats, just look around you for the little signs of spring. Its coming, though slowly, we just need a little more patience.

Last of the Summer Basil

The fall is quickly settling in, even in the city. I wanted to use up a big chunk of the basil that we grew in the container garden this summer and I thought that pesto would be a good way to do just that. I grabbed a red tomato, cut a large handful of the spicy, lemony basil and peeled and crushed a few cloves of garlic.

I stripped every last leaf off of the basil stems and popped them into the food processor with the garlic while George enjoyed the cool breeze and sunshine.

Once the basil and garlic were chopped up a bit I added a healthy amount of olive oil and let it whizz around some more.

The gorgeous olive oil, of course, was followed up with some lovely parmesan. I couldn’t afford expensive pine nuts, but I used some unroasted, unsalted cashews and you know what? They were delicious.

I scooped this onto some corkscrewy pasta, and diced up that beautiful tomato.

Did you think I was kidding? Look at that beauty! You won’t find that at the supermarket! At least you won’t find that flavor anywhere but homegrown.

Totally yummy and perfect for one of those lingering summer-like fall days when the sun is warm and you still have some green and lovely basil in the garden.

Container Garden Update

Things have been growing and sprouting and blooming over the past month and a half here at the Flat. Our container garden has evolved into something pretty cool. Fat tomatoes are hanging on the vine, teeny green peppers are forming and our zucchini and eggplant are putting out some very pretty blooms.

Our rosemary and basil are doing extremely well, this is the basil after a trimming and it still looks big! The lettuces behind it are also doing super.  We keep picking and it keeps growing.

The tomatoes are going strong too. The three we planted in the largest tomato are tied up together in a bamboo teepee and they have many blooms, and several green tomatoes. The tomato in the single pot has about 4 large fruits that are already turning from green into a pale orange.

The pepper plants are still a little on the small side, but they are hardy looking and have little green fruits forming.

Early Harvests

This summer has already been quite a whirlwind! Florrie and I have both been caught up in all the activities and nice weather, and we have let our little blog languish a bit. It was purely accidental! We’re back (well I am currently, Florrie will be back very soon with tales of her travels in Europe and Africa to regale us!)

 This afternoon I got home from my early shift at work and decided to poke around in our container garden. I happily got a little mini harvest for my trouble. My hands smell so good right now and I’ll tell you why…

The lavender had several little sprouts of purple flowers so I snipped a few to put in some teeny vases in the hallway. They smell so heavenly and they are such a beautiful shade of intense indigo blue.

The with some marigolds from the window boxes out front, they make such a cheery addition to our yellow hallway.

Next I looked at my tomato plant and one of the ‘maters was a beautiful scarlet. I picked it and set it out on the shelf in the kitchen to soften a bit. Its destiny is to be in a fresh tomato sandwich. Soon my pretty!

I have several other green tomatoes that are starting to blush a little bit golden orange. Looks like a good year for tomatoes!

Next I had a look at the basil plants… when we first put them in the container we were certain that they couldn’t possibly make it. They were small and shriveled and sad. But a few weeks of blazing sunshine and plant food and they have become our comeback-kid of the containers.

They were getting so big I had to trim them down a bit so they wouldn’t get too leggy. The peppery aroma is lingering on my fingers with the lavender and it smells like summer.  These babies will be pureed into some pesto and served over some cold pasta, perhaps with some of those lovely tomatoes? Yes!

Vegetable Garden Chapter 1

Last year, rather late into the growing season I planted a few things, lettuce, spring onions, radishes and spinach. They grew well in their tubs, so this year I am feeling a little more ambitious and want to plant a full veg garden.

The proposed site

The space on the other side of the creek gets great sun and is out of the way. The ground is rocky so digging it up will be hellish. I plan to rake up the leave, skim the grass off the top loosen the soil and remove the big rocks. As this is the country side and there are lots of wild animals constantly foraging I’m going to fence in it. I plan to grow things in raised beds and will add lots of top soil to achieve that.

Wish me luck, I’m already feeling overwhelmed and the potatoes and parsnips should be in the ground now! Yikes

Container Garden

Inspired by Florrie’s major success with her container gardening last year I was inspired to set up my own. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of paying through the nose for fresh produce. Besides that, it puts me in mind of Land Girls and Victory Gardens. Since we’ve decided in our kitchen renovation (look for a post regarding this tomorrow) will be a 1940’s WWII theme, its perfect.

We have been accumulating little plants for about two weeks now. And Murray had the great luck to stumble upon a great little shop in the neighborhood that sells flats of veg. They are really nice, sturdy, healthy looking plants, too. Outside the kitchen window is a little mini roof that covers a doorway to the porch on the floor below us. Its about 3′ x 6′ and its the perfect (mostly) sunny spot for some things to grow.

Last night Murray and I went to Home Depot and stocked up on dirt. this afternoon we spent 45 minutes setting up Le Jardin du Flat. :O)

Our leafy cast of characters is as follows;


Romaine Lettuce






Mr. Tomato

We started out by drilling a few drainage holes in the bottom of the tubs. We don’t want roots sitting in overly wet dirt and rotting.

Next we filled the containers with dirt and broke up the bigger bits.

We made some holes, filled them with some fresh water and put in the plants. In the big container we planted three tomato, two peppers and three eggplant. We had 12 plants total, but we didn’t want them to get too crowded, although I did nestle in a couple extra spinach plants. I figured they would stay low-ish and the others would tower over so it should work out alright.

In the smaller blue tub we planted the lettuce and the rest of the spinach. the bigger rosemary plant got its own pot, as did the lavender.

In our long zinc window box planter we added the smaller rosemary as well as the basil.

I also potted a little terra cotta pot with a basil plant and some dill. The dill was a little small and straggly, so we’ll see how he fares. I hope he perks up and takes off.  Time will tell.

So there it is. Our little mini container garden. Its going to be grand!