Tuesday, July 9, 2013

High on a summer roof

Bitter Lemon and Pimms, with lime and terrace mint. And ice. Lots of ice. The Pimms has not been touched since last year.

Thus armed, I went up to the roof at about 6pm to start setting the farm to rights. Six weeks without a gardener reveals interesting things, like: all the mesclun and microgreens of spring bolted and gone to seed. Which means I have seed! Cilantro? Gone to seed. Dill? Gone to seed.

I have lots of seed.

Pretty green coriander/cilantro seed. Once dried, these will go into our next order of Brooklyn boerewors. We tasted Vincent's batch last night, and it was wonderful. He mixed and ground and delivered the spices to Pedro at Los Paisanos while I was away. Now I must deliver to them the copies of the Go Magazine in which my sausage story appears. There is a tiny picture of the butchers and the sausage and a big picture of me. Not quite what I had intended.

Radish, romaine and mustard seed.

The summer savory is very happy. Can't wait to chop it up for a fresh herb rub.

I should have taken a Before picture, the one where the table is hidden beneath clematis, rose and lily trimmings. But everything has been fed and assessed, and there is more to be done.

The end of the evening (and the drink). And the discovery of out of season parsnips, which will be too stringy to be fun. I had removed the soaker hose, rearranged pots, pulled out weeds, planted trays of Beefsteak tomatoes, eggplant and peppers (found at the humble but useful Midtown Florist on Atlantic, ironically the the only plant shop that had vegetables - fine, fruit - for me, that very first July when I started the farm...), planted cucumber and dill seed, and watered, fed and bagged all the trash.

It was 7.30 before I came back down, still surprised by the long light of each day. My back was sore, and I took yet another cold shower. 

Supper - boerewors and Frank's garlic scapes, plus a roof sorrel and potato salad - was cooked on the terrace (well, not the potatoes), fine ash floating like snow onto the leaves of everything green.

Inside, we sat in the airconditioning, sipped cool red wine,  and fed the cat bits of meat.

Home again. Mostly.


  1. There's always that fear at the back of a gardener's mind whilst on vacation, "What will I find in the garden when I come home?" Last year I arrived to unmitigated disaster, a complete shock, as the house sitter had assured me that she had been watering. She had not at all. This year, Turfman was in charge. He comported himself well. Glad you are getting in and setting things to rights again.

    1. I should hasten to add that my housesitters could not access the roof, and I was not expecting anything to look great up there. The soaker hose was really to see if we could keep things going - and the blueberry and black raspberry did very well. But one really needs to see individual pots to regulate watering. There is no substitute, in a garden, for the gardener!

      Kudos to Turfman!

  2. I am impressed, Marie. Hugely impressed! I arrived home a few hours ago, in drizzle, which helps, but tomorrow I must do some serious watering and trimming.
    Right now? Sleep!

  3. I have cilantro seeds and blueberries on my roof balcony in Tokyo these days. It's so amazing that I can share same
    moment with gardeners in NY even we live so far away!


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