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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

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Seductive Musings

Friday, September 04, 2009

Harvest time




Sorry to have vanished. Work has been extremely busy. While most newspapers are going belly up, we're growing and doing better and better. Although I'd like to take the credit, it's actually the result of lots of hard work on everyone's part and the fact that we do a kind of journalism that fewer places are doing. But the bottom line is that between ghostwriting and working at the paper, I've been putting in very long days and getting very little sleep.

This weekend, I'm putting the ghostwriting down for a few days and spending my Labor Day putting the final polish on Naked Edge, which I will ship off to New York on Tuesday morning. Then next week, I'll go back to the ghostwriting, which will probably take me another month to finish. And then I start my next book...

In the meantime, it somehow became September. And the veggie garden that my son Benjamin planted this past spring is feeding me quite nicely. We planted a variety of tomatoes, zucchini, butternut squash, bush beans, cucumbers, green peppers, Anaheim peppers, celery and broccoli. The weather here has been a bit funky — June was unnaturally chilly — but I have been getting lots of cukes, tomatoes (particularly romas and cherry tomatoes), and green beans, as well as some Anaheims and a green pepper or two. And I'm about to get a bunch of broccoli.

Too bad Benjy's not here to share the yummy results of his hard work.



Next year, we're going to go all out and plant the entire south side of the house, in addition to putting some beds in the shade for greens and herbs. I want to add a lot of things to what we're growing, including acorn squash, cantaloupe, more beans and more broccoli. The next step will be to plant a small orchard — apples, sweet cherries, plums and pears — and then we'll be supplying the lion's share of our own fruits and veggies.




I'm very drawn to the idea of "urban homesteading," i.e., using your yard to have a mini-farm that sustains your household. Where I live, I can have up to six hens in my backyard for eggs, as well as a hive of honey bees. Imagine how much my garden would love its own bee supply.

Of course, all of this means learning a lot about growing things, as well as learning to can. But the benefit is an enormous savings year to year in fruits, veggies and, eventually, eggs and honey. Plus I never have to wonder where the plants grew or what was sprayed on them. And if Y2K actually ever hits — remember the hype around that? — I'll have food to each.

Though we'll probably spend more than we save at first, long-term it will enable us to be more self-sufficient. And who doesn't get excited about the idea of being a beekeeper?

Did anyone else plant a veggie garden this year? If so, how is it going?

Coming soon: Interview the I-Team heroes

Reece, Julian, and Marc will make themselves available to answer your most penetrating questions. Please send the questions to me via email, Facebook message or by posting them below so that I can get the questions to them. What have you always wanted to ask them. Indulge yourself!

And a happy Labor Day to everyone!

13 comments:

JennJ said...

Hey girl! Good to see you!!! Sounds like you have been majorly busy! I am glad to hear that your paper is doing well though that's good news even if it is a bit tiring huh.

Awesome on the garden and harvest ooo yummy! The tomatoes (I dearly love them whew) look scrumptious as does the other veggies Benjy really out did himself that's wonderful! It is a shame he's not getting to eat it with ya but maybe he will soon! And if you do put up some veggies he can enjoy them later on. :)

I'm glad to hear the ghost writing is going well although I'm sure your ready to be writing on your own books again. And wooohooo new interviews with the Iteam men YAY!!! I must get my thinking cap on what to ask the hunkies! ;) Do we get to ask Gabe stuff too to learn more about him too?

Linda A. said...

Glad you're back, and glad that the paper's doing well, though I'm sure it's exhausting at times. Your garden looks luscious. Our yard is too shady and the soil too thin to grow veggies without a lot of amending, but we do have tomatoes and they are yummy. With the cherry tomatoes, I slice them in half, fill a bowl and drizzle a little olive oil on them, then sprinkle with goat cheese crumbles. Delish. We wouldn't stand a ghost of a chance of growing cantaloupes here!

Mary G said...

Missed you. My hubby has a green thumb. Nothing nicer than barbecuing & the side dish is grilled veggies from the garden. We also grow a lot of herbs which we dry for use during the winter months. I'm addicted to lemon basil which is lighter than regular basil & put it in everything from spaghetti sauce to salad dressing. Damn I'm hungry now.

Hi, Jenn — So good to see you! Yes, I've been extremely busy, and I've missed all of you.

Yes, it's a shame Benjy can't enjoy the veggies. I don't know how to preserve them, so I'm eating everything. But that's why he planted it. I'm paying a chunk of his tuition, and he wanted to help me save money somehow.

And, yes, I DO want to get back to my own writing very much. You're so right.

Yes, you may ask Gabe questions, as well. And Will. I forgot him.

Hi, Linda — I love your tomato recipe. I'll have to try it. I usually just pop them in salads or straight into my mouth. Yum. Colorado is a big cantaloupe state, strangely. Rocky Ford cantaloupes come from here, as does Olathe sweet corn. I'm glad at least you have tomatoes.

Hi, Mary — BBQ'd veggies are delicious! I agree. The herbs we planted didn't do so well this year, but my yard gets constant southern exposure, and I neglected them. I've never planted lemon basil, but I have tasted it. I love basil in general. It's so wonderful with fresh tomatoes, olive oil and fresh mozzarella. Now I'm hungry, too! Time for breakfast, I guess.

Debbie H said...

My garden didn't do so well, although, with the cooler weather we've been having, I have 2 or 3 strawberries to eat daily. I've always wanted to eat from my own garden but never have.

Hum, I'll have to think about some questions for each of them. LOL

Good to see you back on the blog!

Hugs!

Jane said...

Wish we had a veggie garden. Those tomatoes look delicious. Have a great Labor Day.

Ronlyn said...

Hey hey. I'm glad your garden did well. Mine was TERRIBLE this year. My herbs did really well (except the cilantro which never grew back) but I got...are you ready for this? ONE tomatoe. One. That's it. Nothing else has been doing much of anything. I'm holding out hope for the cukes and zuchinni, but I'm not holding my breath. Thank goodness for farmers markets.

Bo said...

Glad to hear the paper is doing good in these times!

We planted a little bit out front this year and then put lots of stuff in the backyard.Let's see,we had zucchini in front,which always does so well that I get sick of it.Basil,which is the ONLY thing still left in the front.Everything went in around the 2nd week of April,I think.Radishes,we had 2 or maybe even 3 crops of,plus more out back.Hubby loves them.I can stand a few and then I'm done *G* Carrots that were stunted and bitter.We had one lonely little cabbage out back.Small but tasty.A couple heads of broccoli before the heat made it bolt and the stupid bugs gobbled it.Cantaloupes out back,coming out the wazoo.Yummy,but gone now.A few cukes.Pumpkins that were meant to be for Halloween and matured WAY too early-we carved them up almost a month ago,LOL.Tomatoes up the wazoo,which are still growing well.Some are mutant looking,fused together all over the place.And the one thing that would have made me happy & say screw the rest? To have good watermelons.Well,they got big and looked done but were white or maybe pink inside.Plus they had seeds,when they were supposed to be seedless,grrr....

Overall I think we saved a lot of money,because instead of spending $20 or $30 before I left the produce section each trip to the store,I don't think I spent more than $12 on a single trip this summer.

Questions for the boys,hmm....I will have to think on this.

Hi, Debbie — It's amazing that you're getting strawberries at this time of year. We had a cooler summer, too, which is probably why we're not getting as many tomatoes as we might (though I still have more than I can eat). And thanks! It's good to have the time to check in.

Hi, Jane — Do you have a place to plant a veggie garden? You can even grow some good stuff in gardens on patios or balconies. And thanks. I had a pretty good day. I just edited Naked Edge all day. How about you?

Hi, Ronlyn — WOW! What did people eat in that part of the country before farmers' markets? LOL! Was it just too cold and/or rainy? I've had lots of cukes -- and as for zucchini, I've had too much. I just have to eat veggies all day every day to keep up with that and the green beans. I had zukes and summer squash sauteed with red onion to go with my chicken tonight.

Oh, Bo, sorry about your watermelons. What a disappointment! Sorry, too, that the carrots weren't so good and the broccoli bolted. We've had temps in the mid-90s, but ours didn't bolt. Not sure why not. It's just tall and leafy and happy. We planted it a bit late, even. Glad you're getting tomatoes. You need to send a care package to Ronlyn. :-)

I'm saving lots of money. When I go to the store, the only thing I pick up in the produce aisle is fruit. And when we put in an orchard -- I'm figuring cherries, apples, peaches and plums -- we won't even need that. We have raspberries up the wazoo. I can't even get them all so the birds are eating the lion's share. We had some strawberries, but not many because the squirrels ran off with them -- furry little monsters.

So I sent my manuscript to New York, which means Kat and Gabe are now in my editor's hands. And I'm kind of post-partem and also nervous.

Luci said...

Hey Pamela, I am so glad your paper is doing well in these difficult times. We don't have a garden, just a courtyard with many plants. its shaded so the plants tend to flourish. Since i have a black thumb and my husband just waters them when he remembers as he's mostly at work, our veggies wouldn't thrive much :(. I love it that you plant and eat from your own vegetable garden though, not very common here in Malta. At least I think not.

Hi, Luci — Thanks! Yes, we are happy, too, believe me! I think it's proof that investigative, independent journalism rules and corporate namby-pamby journalism drools. So to speak. ;-)

How wonderful to have a courtyard. I'd give up my veggie garden to live on an island in the middle of the Mediterranean. Bye-bye, broccoli! You have something we will never have in Colorado — the sea.

:-)

Ronlyn said...

I would be starving without farmers markets this year. My one loney little tomatoe was very good though. :-)

Ronlyn said...

hold the phone! I've got tiny baby buds for two more tomatoes! All is not lost. *rolling my eyes*
LOL

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