Look around outside. New greens are everywhere. The azalea buds are humming along…colors are light and refreshing. The pale orange on the right side of the photo is the blush of a nearby narcissus. There are no intense colors out yet. Instead, you see tiny spots of color across the whole landscape. Walking through is like a treasure hunt- what’s up today?
An obsession with flowers has long kept me from growing edibles. This year we’re going to see if we can grow tomatoes. Vegetable growing conditions here at Chez DuLude are challenging because of the lack of intense sun that tomatoes require or protection from wandering wild things. (Rabbits and deer).
Heirloom tomatoes have intense, variable flavors and texture. They’re also so much more ravishing to look at than your standard grocery store variety. Have you tried them? So many varieties, so little time. What’s not to like?
Did you know that a tomato’s sweet taste comes from being high in sugar and low in acid? If a tomato is low in both acids and sugars, it’s bland. Most tomatoes in a store taste bland, don’t you think? That’s because they were bred to travel, not eat. Read more here.
We’re starting tomato plants from seed this year. They say to sow the seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last winter frost, which for those of us in Zone 5, is on or around May 15. Don’t know your planting zone? Find it here. You want to get them in as soon as possible so they mature before the fall frost- which is around October 15. Dates vary a week or two so it’s important to watch the weather before planting. Here’s the zone 5 planting schedule. It’s time to start now!
Tomato seeds are big babies. You’ll start them inside on a damp paper towel in a moist paper bag, no light. Close the bag, gently pressing out the air inside. Store them in 70° to 80°F. Check the seeds every few days, sprinkling a little water if the towel dries out. When they’ve sprouted, put the seeds into their own soil in pots and begin to slowly move them outside so they can harden. Details on planting tomato seeds here.
When I decided to make natural down and cotton pillows from my garden, photos, it took a few years to shoot and recreate the most beautiful images for printing. Paola Pillows are printed using fiber reactive dyes that are permanent so you can wash them. No anti-stain chemicals used in the finishing of these pillows.
Rising Appalachia– a band by sisters Leah and Chloe, their percussionist Biko Casini and bassist/guitarist David Brown, are taking off. Rising Appalachia is an eleven years young movement founded in the “concrete jungle of Atlanta, Georgia, sharpening their instincts in the mountains of Appalachia, and fine tuning their soul on the streets of New Orleans.” This song Medicine, from 2015- is a visual delight and interesting mix of voice and percussion.
The ”Slow Music Movement” founded by the sisters in 2015, promoting sustainable touring practices, says Leah. It’s a service where musicians aren’t just part fast-paced entertainment, but instead seek to influence the cultural shift as “troubadours, activists, story tellers, and catalysts of justice.” You go girls!