Posted by: David | June 6, 2010

Roses and Mustard Gas

Apologies to Kurt Vonnegut. May he rest in peace.

We had some company Saturday. A former coworker of mine and her friend came from upstate New York to visit us. This friend of mine is an artist, professor, and an avid gardener. Oh, and a blogger too. Her blog moniker is Prof LKR. She has managed to scratch a pretty incredible garden out of a very small urban lot in Troy.

They arrived a little later than expected, our place being their first stop on a birthday tour to points east. Prof LKR and I have birthdays one year and one day apart. She’s turning 55 tomorrow, and it’s 54 for me Tuesday.

We walked all around the gardens, extolling the virtues of various vegetables, but especially the brassicas. We all agreed, after I told them about how much gas you get from eating Jerusalem Artichokes, that pretty much any vegetable that’s good for you, e.g. cabbage, mustard, broccoli, or any other brassica, is going to make you fart. Hallelujah.

Beds 15 and 16 (right to left) are planted with cabbages. Bushy bed 17 is helianthus tuberosus.

But the high comedy moment came after we’d completed the garden tour and came inside to have some lunch. Prof LKR’s friend went to use the bathroom. Well the bathroom window is right by the toilet and there’s a little potpourri bowl of dried rosebuds on the window sill. It was a breezy day, and the bottom of the curtain had managed to flip one of the rosebuds into the toilet. He came out of the bathroom to inquire as to proper etiquette when one finds a rosebud in the bowl.

The wind blew this one in. We all had a good chuckle over it.



    Thanks Care! I need to make a pie really soon.

  2. I thought everyone had rose petals in their toilets.

    HAPPY, HAPPY DAY OF BIRTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you Moonbeam. Everyone SHOULD have rose petals in their toilets.

  3. Missed you on Sunday, but I am glad you opted for safety. It did rain hard here for a little bit, not long after you called, but it got better pretty quickly. Tent on the back deck was a big help.
    I hope you had a great birthday. Good work on keeping up your tradition of biking at least the same number of miles as your age.

    Thanks lakecrazy. We actually turned around twice. I hope your mom had a nice birthday party! Great that all her kids were there! My birthday was nice. Low key. How I like it.

  4. The Helianthus looks happy. It likes to be in a crowd. But the cabbage? Isn’t it too little for this time of year and your short summers?

    By the way, remember I told you about pealing the big leaves from a cabbage and after some time there were buds of flowers sprouting from where the leaves had been?

    It is normal. That was in late spring. Later I discovered that there were flowers (or tiny cabbages?) packed in between all the leaves.

    I have never seen a cabbage that was allowed to grow and spend its entire life in its field, but I think it might end up looking like an immense open Nenuphar. But its fruit bearing things would come up between the leaves.

    You’re right, the cabbage plants are sort of small. But they’ll make it. Cabbage is biennial, and only produces flowers and seeds in the second year of growth. It would never survive our winter, unless one devised some clever system of mulching to keep the plants from freezing completely. Your comment led me to search for how one would go about trying to collect seeds from cabbage. Apparently, in places with milder winters than ours, cabbage plants are started in late summer and allow to overwinter in the field. They “bolt” to flowers and seeds the following spring. I guess you sort of trick the plant into its reproductive cycle before it makes the big compacted leaf ball that we recognize as the cabbage. The yellow flowers are pollinated by bees.

  5. lol lol – just saw this post – that was indeed very funny with the rosebud. He thought maybe it was a New England custom he knew nothing about 🙂 I will send you photos from the rest of the trip and some nice ones from your house. ciao bambino!

    Hee hee. Yeah, that was a funny moment. If it WAS an obscure NE custom, what would the proper etiquette be? To piss on the rosebud or not … hmm.

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