Just going to share a couple photos of succulents today. See more photos at www.flora-file.com
Pest protection at it’s best. One of my favorite predators stalking through the garden.
Posted for the DP Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette
“Nature abhors a straight line.” – William Kent (via)
While nature provides many shapes that are pleasing to the eye, such as the parabola, the spiral, and the ellipse, the straight line is far less common in the natural world. It is human’s folly to try to impose such rigid regularity onto our constructs and architecture.
The zig zag is also a pattern that is seen regularly in nature, and sometimes it seems like an attempt at at straight line before the invisible artist that shapes the universe changes it’s mind.
Posted for the DP Weekly Photo Challenge – Zig Zag
Nothing says summer like heat, whether it’s the atmosphere or the bounty from the garden. With this year’s bumper crop of hot chilies coming in extra spicy and all at once, its good to have a way to preserve that summer heat all year long. These photos are from last year’s crop. I had so many peppers last year that I still have a jar of this chili paste, even though I gave over half the chili paste away to anyone brave enough to take it. One of the biggest problems with growing hot chilies is that the peppers all ripen at the same time, and just one single pepper is way too much fire for one meal. This recipe involves no cooking and will help preserve that summer spice all year round, and you can add just as much at you need.
So you decided to grow hot peppers and now you have way too many. Solution: make donne. Donne is a chili paste made with spicy chilies and preserved with vinegar.
Chilis, Garlic, Salt, Vinegar
- -Cut up chilies and garlic. Be cautious when cutting up very hot chilies. You may even want to use latex gloves.
- -Place peppers and garlic in food processor. Add enough vinegar to allow the chilies to blend evenly. Sprinkle a small amount of salt on top.
- -Blend until an even consistency is reached.
- -Bottle and refrigerate.
The vinegar preserves the chilies and allows the paste to stay edible for up to a year. The flavor and potency will fade a little over time, but usually the paste is so spicy that it is is barely noticeable. Depending on how hot the peppers are, this stuff makes Sriracha taste like ketchup.
For this batch I had a bunch of Cherry Bomb peppers that were ripe, which have a very nice sweet flavor but are not overly spicy (I estimate ~2000-3000 Scoville units). To put a little more punch into it I added a couple ripe habaneros. Since this mix is ‘Sweet’, I used rice vinegar, though normally I used distilled white vinegar for a truer flavor.
I’ll be enjoying the peppers from my garden all year. Will you?
Read more about donne and the wild chilies of Guam click HERE.
Posted for the DP Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin
In case you didn’t know, I teach middle school. I also started and continue to run a school garden at my school. We have a summer watering schedule, and students and parents have volunteered to come and water the unirrigated portions of the garden over the summer months. But I still like to stop by every couple weeks and check on how things are going, to make sure the equipment is still there, and make sure nothing is broken or destroyed. Unfortunately, vandalism is a big problem when you leave an area of a school open to the public. Sometimes it seems that teenager’s favorite way to enjoy something is to destroy it. This summer though, so far so good.
In my own garden that I see everyday, the growth and changes are subtle and hard to appreciate. But not seeing the school garden for weeks at a time, the growth and changes are much more dramatic. These are some photos from my last visit.
Now if we could just keep all the other garden pests out.
flora (ˈflôrə) noun; the plants of a particular region, habitat, or geological period
–phile: (combining form) denoting fondness, esp. an abnormal love for a specified thing.
I live in California. I grow plants and take photos. I run a school garden and teach Science. I am a floraphile.
This is the tagline for my Tumblr, which is where I post about my adventures as a plant fanatic. It started from a New Year’s resolution in 2012, and this Tumblr essentially jumpstarted my floundering creative potential. It started out with me just sharing other people’s photos of plants, and then I soon began taking my own photos. Then I got a better camera and started taking better photos. I tried to capture the photographic evidence of the beauty I witnessed in my own garden. I wanted that sense of calm and serenity I feel in the garden to be delivered through my photographs. Not sure if I can succeed in this, but I keep trying.
Just the act of creating my own content soon led to other things. Soon the writing began. Then a workshop, an online course, a novel in progress, a slew of potentially mediocre short stories. Then this wordpress blog happened because I needed somewhere to put all these extra words. Frankly, the wordy posts I had been composing about my plants hadn’t exactly proved popular on Tumblr, and every time I posted a short story at least ten people immediately unfollowed me. I have a sneaking suspicion that many Tumblr users refuse to read anything longer than fifty words, but I’ll be damned if they don’t like a pretty picture of a succulent. So now, I’ll just have to subject the blogoshpere of wordpress to all my rants, raves, and unfortunate literary transgressions. I apologize in advance.
This is a collection of some of the photos from my garden that I posted this week.
Originally posted on flora-file.tumblr.com