Category Archives: Garden

Citrus Desparado

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This is a story about a man whose son supplemented his day-job income by working as kind of a jack-of-all-trades for a company that produced concerts and other shows at large entertainment venues in a particular mid-sized southern city.

One day Don Henley came to town. Former co-leader of the Eagles rock group, the singer-song writer-guitarist tours with his own band now, and was preparing for a local show.

It’s somewhat customary for well-known entertainers to request and be provided various foods and other comfort items for consumption before and after their shows. In this case, so the story goes, the owners of the concert venue required such items be obtained from a hotel attached to said venue and being operated by a national hotel chain.

But after an ominous breakfast, which included a salad containing metalic foreign objects, it became clear the hotel was not capable of providing this particular group’s needs.

For instance, the lemons were inadequate. “I hate small lemons,” Henley was quoted as saying, approximately, to the people producing the show. “Don Henley hates small lemons,” the production company officials said to the son mentioned above. “Go out and find us the largest lemons available.”

“You’re not going to believe this,” the son replied. “But it turns out that my father grows the biggest lemons in the world.” Then he drove to his home and retrieved a half-dozen lemons given to him by the man who is the subject of this story.

It turns out that man is me. While it is an exaggeration to call them the biggest in the world, it is true that I grow Meyer lemons, which are considerably larger than Lisbon lemons – the type almost always seen in grocery stores. Meyer lemons, more importantly, are incredibly flavorful and fragrant.

And while I have not been directly informed by any of his people, I have heard no complaints whatsoever about the lemons my son provided to Don Henley, and it is my belief that he probably found them of outstanding size and flavor, and may even recall them with fondness in the future in the likely event he is presented with some inferior lemon.

Which just goes to show you, anything can happen. I forget that sometimes.

As kind of a postscript, I have to say that my lemon tree was seriously damaged in our recent and uncommon freezing weather. I have hopes that the tree will survive, although nothing is guaranteed. I have decided that if the tree manages to live and produce fruit, I will heretofore refer to them as Desparado Lemons, just for fun.

Also posted in Fruit, Kids, Metaphysics

Adam & Eve, Party Of Two – Your Table Is Ready

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Unexpected consequences from the Great Flood of ‘016 include a ruined fig and pecan crop – pretty disappointing to those of us who look forward to those gastronomic treats. However, the pain has been eased by a great load of Hachiya persimmons from what looks like the Tree of Life out back, several large bunches of bananas with more ripening, and a promising crop of Satsuma oranges and Meyer lemons. You win some, you lose some.

Our house took on not a drop of water from the raging Brazos River, which crested at nearly 55 feet just four months ago. However, our five figs and all the towering native pecan trees in the neighborhood stood in three or more feet of water for several days, and apparently that was traumatic enough to ruin the crops. The usually delicious dark figs in back ripened up and looked fine, but when you bit into them, they contained almost no sugar. As for the pecans, most of our trees have almost none. Usually they have many hundreds.

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So you eat what you have. Stop by this fall for a banana-persimmon smoothy.

Also posted in Brazos River, Food, Fruit, Nobody Gets It Like They Want It To Be

Cucuzza Decides

After last year’s bountiful cucuzza harvest and part-time laugh riot, (a portion of which still remain high in an unnamed pecan tree), I decided I would skip planting the tasty giant Italian squash/gourd this year. For one thing, I was pretty much out of garden space – and cucuzza can take up your entire garden.

It turns out, however, that once you begin a relationship with cucuzza, you forfeit the right to decide. Cucuzza decides.

I was walking around the backyard in late June shortly after a downpour, when I noticed a very familiar young seedling growing up through the St. Augustine grass near the center of the yard. It was cucuzza. OK, I thought. So I pulled the grass from around the plant, then stuck a tomato cage over the top so the dogs would have at least a little difficulty before destroying it.

The didn’t destroy it. But how, I wondered, can I get the vine to grow up off of the ground so that I can still mow (and use) the lawn, and so the fruit will not rot in the grass? Two fence posts and a couple of lengths of rope later…

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Also posted in Food, Nature, Nobody Gets It Like They Want It To Be

Here Comes The Sun

This is the time I would preserve in a big canning jar, when waters finally recede and the sun commands the world to morph.

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And the world complies, pulling shaggy green over everything, reclaiming the flotsam left to rot everywhere by the humans and their ridiculously temporary antics.

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I’d open the jar and spread This Time across the windowsills after the gardens submit to the cracklingly inevitable steam-heat of summer: Fresh salsa and caprese all around for another two weeks, a month, until the jar runs out.

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Yeah I sure would.

Also posted in Food, Metaphysics, Nature, Vegetables