Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thanksgiving, gardens, and pesto dressing

My husband and I made the long drive up to Maryland
to visit with friends and family.

Pesto harvest includes garlic chives, meadow garlic, Greek oregano, and lots of basil--I cut it off near the soil line so I can get another harvest before our first frost.  Sweet basil has been prone this fungal blight. I used only the green parts of the leaves.
My plan for my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner was to make some pesto dressing for a tossed salad made mostly from the chef's mix salad greens. I harvested all the basil, which I'd planted at the end of September and was showing signs of disease. I made the pesto using my variable, harvest-based recipe, which you can read in this post: A field trip, a Florida native plant hero and a pasta salad.

I ended up with enough pesto to freeze several pints. I harvested most of my first lettuce crop and other salad makings just before we left.
To make dressing from the pesto, I added olive oil and vinegar to make it more liquidy. I washed and bagged the salad makings, put salad stuff in our portable fridge, and then we were off.

But first Washington, DC.

Fall in DC Milkweed is ready to fly in DC's sidewalk gardens.
We rode our bikes up and down the length of the Mall and stopped a a couple of museums, but we really enjoy the gardens along the way. Fall is certainly beautiful in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Asters! (Symphotrichum oblongifolium) Asters and red ribbon grass (Panicum virgatum).
I love how the caretakers of the sidewalk gardens are using more natives or near natives rather than the formal seasonal plantings. I wrote about this after I visited the High Line Park in NYC and Lurie Gardens in Chicago. It helps to offset the thought that everyone needs perfect-looking landscapes. These native landscapes have dead flowers with seeds to feed the birds that might not be tolerated in more formal settings. Redefining what a beautiful garden should look like...

At the end of the day we had put 12 miles on our bikes and had satisfied our DC deficit.


My smart granddaughter Olivia. Behind my shoulder is a sketch of her mother and aunt when they were children. My son Dana and grandson Weber.
I make a point when talking to Weber as dinner
is declared ready for the group.

So we had a lovely dinner with traditional and vegan offerings. 20 friends and family made short order of everything.

We also spent time with my good friend Lucia Robson. It was so much fun to catch up.

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving.

Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny Stibolt

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