Monday, December 26, 2011

Nothing Stays the Same

We've been wondering what to do with our field ever since we acquired Elk Cliff Farm. The year of 2011 finally saw some movement -- pigs in the almost-abandoned garden, a fence, a well, and now....
three mammoth donkeys.

Soon our goats will be rotating with the donkeys, pigs and chickens, and that field will be on its way to revival. The pigs have done a good job roto-tilling what once was my biggest garden. By summertime, it may grow grain for the animals, and corn, pumpkins and squash for both animals and people.

Here's another look at the big ones (and 1 1/2 little ones).

Sunday, December 25, 2011

GW Christmas

This morning I ran to Washington's Crossing for a history lesson, jogged up the towpath a couple miles and back, then plopped myself in a parking spot to save it for Karen and Adam. George drew a large crowd this year.
That's George, in the boat just leaving port. They paddled upstream before drifting downstream. Here's a closer look.
And one of the spectators....

Monday, December 19, 2011

Halyomorpha Halys

Every time the air warms, stink bugs begin crawling. One of them woke me the other night with a French kiss, about 2 a.m. I spit it across the room and within a couple minutes found another one, or maybe the same one, taking a walk on my neck.

I understand these guys crossed the U.S. welcome mat in 1998. Like kudzu, they forgot to apply for green cards. Now they're permanent residents, attacking orchards, hopefully not mine. Talk about immigration reform.

Some people turn down our addition of cilantro to salads, saying cilantro smells like stink bugs. There's some truth to that. My 2 a.m. friend tasted something like cilantro.

"Sounds delicious," says Virginia. "I think they're maligned."

Not if they kill fruit trees. Keri, our Great Pyrenees, joined us because of fruit poachers. We may have to train Yogi, our African gray parrot, to guard the orchard. Or the chickens. Maybe that's why their eggs have taken on a different flavor (just kidding).

Friday, December 16, 2011

Frank Incensed

I've sort of been on the fence for a while about the Durbin Amendment (the provision of Dodd-Frank that restricts debit card interchange fees), but let me be frank.

"Hi Frank," says Virginia.

No, no, no, I don't mean that Frank. I mean the other one, with the little "f."

This past week, the Electronic Payments Coalition issued a study concluding that retail merchants haven't lived up to their "promise" to lower prices in response to lower debit card interchange fees. The study, which actually proved nothing at all -- oops, I'm getting ahead of myself, touted itself as settling the issue once and for all.

Its pretty charts, tables and puffball rhetoric almost pushed me off the fence. I don't like lobbyists and arguments that treat me like an idiot.

Let me summarize the "study." The "researchers" looked at the prices of several "baskets" of goods sold by 21 stores of four giant retailers -- Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Seven-Eleven and Home Depot -- located in five big cities -- Boston, Little Rock, Atlanta, Portland and San Francisco. The baskets included a subset of these items: Cheerios, a hammer, batteries, milk, eggs, bread, sugar, peanut butter, Coke 2L, duct tape, Slurpees, Mac&Cheese, Bud Light, paint and frozen burritos. The Coalition shopped these baskets the last week of September and then the first week of December. The conclusion? That these retailers, rather than lowering prices, raised their prices an average of 1.7% in the 2 months following the implementation of Federal Reserve Regulation II, which implemented the Durbin Amendment on October 1, 2011.

If my alarm clock rings every morning, does it cause the sun to "rise"?

"That's not fair," says Virginia.

All right. Here are some initial questions for the Coalition:

1. Over time, do prices tend to rise?
2. Could the prices have risen higher but for Regulation II?
3. Was anything else in the baskets you aren't mentioning?
4. Did you consider asking the retailers for their complete inventory pricing?
5. Did wholesale prices (that is, the prices paid for the baskets by the retailers) change between September and December?
6. What happened a year ago between September and December, or six months ago, between March and June?
7. Why didn't you have an impartial third party conduct the study? (The Coalition consists of banks, credit unions and payment services who have been opposing the Durbin Amendment since it was proposed).
8. Is 2 months a sufficient time period?
9. Would you supply brand names and product details so we can replicate your results?
10. What about retailers in my town?

"Stop," says Virginia. "I want to see the retailers' study."

Oh no, I hope not, but I suppose that's bound to come out soon. Let's see, what would they look at? Wheaties, nails, solar panels, Pepsi, Heineken...

"Minimum balances for 'free checking,' more likely," says Virginia, "debit card replacement fees, fees people don't notice."

Good point. Na-na-na-boo-boo.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Truth Makes Free -- Not Today?

We live in a time of premature verdicts delivered by sponsored sound bites. Dodd-Frank is a failure, pundits cry, with burgeoning regulations driving small banks out of business, making “too big to fail” as certain as death.

To the contrary, the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department touts Dodd-Frank as the builder of a pro-growth, pro-investment financial system. Deputy Assistant Secretary Wolin attempts to dispel the “myth” that Dodd-Frank hurts small banks by saying that it helps to level the playing field between large banks and small ones and holds big banks to much stiffer standards than small ones.

So what’s the truth? Will Dodd-Frank spell the death knell for community banks? Is Dodd-Frank swamping banks with regulations, creating job security for compliance officers and attorneys? According to the General Accounting Office in November 2011, “little is known about the actual impact of the final Dodd-Frank rules, given the short amount of time the rules have been in effect.”

Several major criticisms of Dodd-Frank ring true. First, Dodd-Frank did not reinstate Glass-Steagall, the depression era legislation that separated commercial from investment banks, repealed during the Clinton presidency. Second, Dodd-Frank does not explicitly attack the credit default swap exposure that brought down AIG and now poses unclear risk regarding U.S. bank exposure to European sovereign debt.

Most important, if one were to assume that the Dodd-Frank provisions were designed to prevent another financial crisis on the order of the 2008 debacle, a year and a half has passed and most of the legislation remains unimplemented.

Well, say the doubters, banks still aren’t lending, sitting on their cash, all because of Dodd-Frank. That’s easy to say, but what in Dodd-Frank has caused this? Perhaps the specter of Dodd-Frank regulations (such as proposed ability to repay regulations), not yet adopted. More likely, concern about the loosey-goosey practices that led to the crisis and the resulting closer scrutiny of bank examiners, not Dodd-Frank. Even if Dodd-Frank hadn’t come to be, we’d most likely be working through the subprime fallout and banks would be reluctant to lend.

I’m not about to brag on Dodd-Frank. My biggest beef with the bill is its multitude of provisions that will, if they haven’t already, affect institutions that had nothing to do with the financial crisis Dodd-Frank was enacted to prevent. Most lenders did not make NINJA (no income, no job, and no assets) loans. It isn’t fair to treat them all as if they did. Dodd-Frank should have an exemption for the good guys. How to word the exemption and keep it constitutional is something I don’t know much about.

“When you do, let us know, will you?” says Virginia.

Yeah, sure.

"And, by the way, have you bought a Ninja blender yet?" she tosses in.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Frost-Free Morning

Frost is free. It comes with no conditions, no fees. Kind of like toasters and certificates of deposit, we as consumers don't have any choice. Actually, with toasters and certificates of deposit, we have a choice -- take it or leave it. With frost, all we can do is take it (or leave it by remaining inside, I suppose).

"I think you're stretching this from nothing," says Virginia.

No, I think I need to tell you where I'm coming from, though. As some of you know, I've been reading a lot of articles about the Dodd-Frank Act (a/k/a financial reform or the banking bill), payday lending, and other sources of loans for folks who don't have accounts with banks (i.e., "poor" folks). Many of the authors talk about "free checking," except they don't seem to know that "free checking" has a specific meaning in the banking industry. If an account requires a minimum balance or imposes a per transaction fee, it isn't "free checking." The Truth in Savings Act and Federal Regulation DD make that very clear. The authors' misuse of the term "free checking" doesn't much matter, except it points out to those in the know that they aren't in the know.

"You're definitely stretching this from nothing," says Virginia.

All right. I give. Here's what I really had in mind for this posting, another garden tour.
Chinese Cabbage
Rouge D'Hiver Lettuce (I think)
Butterhead Lettuce
Doyle's Thornless Blackberry

Frost has got to be among the best things that are free.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monster Concert Christmas Singalong Reprise

I keep forgetting to mention that 4 pianists on 4 pianos are reprising the monster concert holiday singalong we held last year. If you haven't heard 4 pianos played at once, come and discover why it's called a "monster concert." If you have heard them, well then, you've probably already made reservations. With that much sound, you'll feel free, as the crowd did last year, to belt out favorites such as "Jingle Bells," "White Christmas," "Blue Christmas," "Joy to the World," "Frosty the Snow Man," "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire," and many more. Tim Gaylard, Bill McCorkle, Betty Bond Nichols, and this blogger will be at the pianos. We'll be joined by singers, trumpeters and maybe a tuba player, on numbers like "The Christmas Shoes" (cry, cry, cry), "Pie Jesu" (Andrew Lloyd Webber), and "Santa Baby."

For reservations (they're necessary because space is limited), email The event, on Wed., Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m., benefits the Rockbridge Symphony, so $20 admission contributions are suggested. Children are welcome and often gather in the basement of the Krantz home (Possum Hollow Road, Lexington, Virginia) to play ping pong, shake old-fashioned pinball machines, and watch movies on a huge TV screen.

Member FDIC. Equal housing lender. [Just kidding].

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Karen and I sat on the back porch of our cabin yesterday, listening to Opossum Run. We thought about people elsewhere who walk miles each day to collect a little water to meet their needs. The time to pan for gold, if that time ever existed, has passed. Water has become golden.

As I mentioned in this year's Thanksgiving Day blog posting (immediately preceding this one, entitled "Thank You"), we're fortunate to be able to "make" Thanksgiving dinner. This is a result of a choice we made 17 years ago, after asking ourselves, "Is this really what we want to do until we retire?" We didn't realize then where we were heading, and I suspect that 17 years from now we'll look back at today and say we didn't realize in 2011 where we were headed.

Traveling always does this to me. Stepping outside our box forces me to look at our choices from a different perspective. As we walked around Manhattan, we didn't see many gardens or wellheads. We visited a small community garden in the Upper West End. Each participant had a few square feet, where growing potatoes or raising turkeys would be very hard. The only way they could "grow" a significant amount of food was to pay someone else to grow it for them. Enter, grocery stores and farmers' markets.

That's okay, I suppose, assuming the buying doesn't accompany an attitude that looks down on the labor and the places that make their food possible. Something is out of whack if we call farmers and other laborers names like "rednecks," sort of like the names given the slaves brought here to do the work white people thought was beneath them. These are the people who feed us.

We spent an afternoon art gallery-hopping in Chelsea. At first, I didn't know quite what to think of an exhibit of works by Robert Kinmont at Alexander and Bonin. A wooden box sat on the floor next to what presumably had been its contents, a small pile of soil, entitled "A Cubic Foot of California." Another work, entitled "Evidence," consisted of 127 willow forks, that is, forked willow tree branches. Near the entrance stood half of a hollowed-out log, clean and smooth. These and other pieces seemed like a tractor driving down Wall Street. Then I thought, yes, that's exactly what we need to see. We cannot, must not, live such specialized, compartmentalized lives.

"So are you going to drive a tractor down Wall Street?" asks Virginia.

I hope I don't have to.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thank You

Today, our huge family of three celebrated Thanksgiving together with old friends. Well, they were not so old. All were very good friends.

Every holiday, especially Thanksgiving, amazes me by the effort put into making food and the speed with it is dispatched. Even more now. I'll tell you why.

Turkey and Gravy. A year ago last April, our local postmaster telephoned us to announce the arrival of a box of turkey poults, including this year's Thanksgiving turkey and 19 adoptive siblings. We got to know the tiny fellows pretty well over the next 5 1/2 months, as they grew into irritating adults who demanded our help putting them to bed each night while they pecked at anything shiny. Then came a day I've already blogged about and a deep sleep in the freezer. See Today, a few hours in the oven provided our main course and gravy.

Mashed Potatoes. St. Patrick's Day is the prime day for planting potatoes around here. As I recall, a nice rain postponed this year's planting to March 21. Now, growing potatoes isn't just a waiting game. They require weeding now and then, hoeing into hills, and several weeks handpicking Colorado potato beetle larvae during my early morning rounds. Digging them isn't easy, but it's sort of like panning for gold.

Corn. This year our first planting of corn went into the field garden at the end of April. The promise of 130 dozen sprouts proved illusory, dwindled to 5 dozen ears by summer drought. Series of smaller plantings in the garden beds, where I could keep them watered, saved the season. Then came picking, husking, cutting off the kernels, freezing or canning.

Stuffing. Karen used home-made bread for our stuffing this year. Some of the wheat berries and flour came from winter wheat planted either last fall or the year before.

Pumpkin pie. Not really pumpkin, this year's pie came from frozen Georgia Candy Roaster squash we grew last summer. The squash were monsters, relatively easy to put away because we could slice them in half, remove the seeds and pulp, cook them cut side down on cookie sheets, whirl them up in a food processor, and stuff them in freezer bags.

Whipping cream for the pie. Not really whipping cream, goat milk and free-range eggs served as the base for home-made ice cream churned on the patio this afternoon.

"I guess you're saying it took almost two years to prepare this dinner?" says Virginia.

And fifteen minutes to eat it.

Friday, November 18, 2011


My shoes are packed, I'm ready to go. From 90th and Broadway, where to run first? Maybe down to Wall Street, to see if any demonstrators remain after the cleanup. Maybe north to a cross-country 5K. Or over to Central Park. And then walking. When we visit cities we walk like crazy. It's in the genes, I suppose. My octogenarian mother visited Chicago a few years ago and walked five miles, ending up in a hospital.

Taxis, buses and subways have their place, but nothing beats feet on the ground, body controlling movement, stopping on a dime to check something out, eyes watching people, places and potholes.

It'll be a little bit different from this afternoon's chore of planting wheat in the dirt piled above the new water pipes in our field. We're hoping the wheat takes, despite being planted so late. It will hold the soil in place, as well as offer a treat for grazing goats and donkeys.

I broadcasted the wheat first with my right hand, then with my left. My right hand continued to shake as the left did its job. I had to concentrate to shut it off.

"Why didn't you use a spreader?" Virginia asks.

A spreader, right, like I'm going to rush out to buy a spreader for a rare occurrence. This reminds me, someone said not to buy a tractor unless we planned to use it at least 2,000 hours per year. We already have more than one vehicle per person in this household, ten pairs of shoes, twenty towels and six pairs of sheets. Maybe we should get rid of a hundred items by Christmas, or two hundred.

Side-tracked again. I was going to write about the importance of uselessness. Some people I know would say planting wheat by hand indicates I have time to waste, like moving mulch without a front-end loader, shelling peas, canning pickles. (I could be writing a book, an article, a newsletter.) Yes, it'd be a lot easier to hire people to do these things, as we do, in effect, when we pluck stuff off the Kroger shelf (or pay Ms. Handywipe to do the shopping).

That wouldn't feel right, too much distance between the soil and table. I like doing useless things, including running on cobblestones in a city I barely know.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Negativity Quotient

An informal survey conducted at Elk Cliff Farm recently found:

1. Negative people like to subtract, not add.
2. Negative people like to divide, not multiply.
3. The only power negative people have is to repel positives as well as negatives.
4. Negative people don't know what they're missing.
5. Negative people cut themselves from other people's lives.

"That's sad," says Virginia.

Don't be so negative.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Suffering Paradigm

“We should consider that the boosters of the prevailing economic paradigm have the most to gain from its continuation, and that this economy is predicated on training us to be dissatisfied and ungrateful consumers.” Wendell Berry

We often hear that greed caused the ongoing financial crisis. Critics point at the greed of a broad cross-section of our citizenry – homebuyers who had eyes bigger than their wallets, mortgage originators and real estate agents who helped those eyes bulge, lenders and securitizers anxious to book ‘em and sell ‘em, investment banks ready and willing to bet for and against them, and others, too.

How do we recover from the effects of this greed? Most economists say the resumption of consumer spending is the key to financial recovery. Some of them recognize that if the rest of the world consumed like Americans do, our Earth would cry for help even louder than it already does. So, greed got us into this mess and perhaps now we need greed to get us out.

Or maybe we need a new paradigm, one in which we develop a disciplined approach to spending, not so influenced by the boosters of the status quo who want us to be dissatisfied with what we have, an approach that forces those boosters to offer us true value instead of snazzier cars, shoes, clothes and prepackaged foods our grandparents would not have recognized.

"You're getting carried away," says Virginia.

Carry me back to old Virginny. I understand our Commonwealth retired that State song. Maybe we could retire some other habits.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Lucky Fiasco

I understand Thomas Edison said something similar to "luck is 99% perspiration and 1% being in the right place at the right time." Well, today luck was luck, not perspiration and certainly not smarts.

A tree died along our fence line. For several months, or maybe a year or two, we've watched that tree, wondering if a storm might tip it onto the road. This morning, chainsaw in hand, I decided it was time to beat the storm. A few weeks ago I attended a seminar entitled "Law and Literature." Nothing's relevant to today's experience except for the keynote speaker's joke that "lawyers think they can do anything." I've mentioned that to my students and warned them that maybe certain lawyers can do anything if they adequately prepare.

I set out to prove that joke. I gnawed a nice notch on the fall-in side, carved exactly the way I'd read it should be done, and the way I'd done it a fair number of times before. Then I got nervous. Maybe the funeral procession that passed by had something to do with it. What if the tree fell the wrong way? I almost called a friend or two, for last rites perhaps, but heck, give it a go, I decided. I hadn't read, or at least hadn't remembered, that it might be a good idea to hammer in a wedge or two as I made the final opposite-side cut.

As the tree began to move, I noticed a little twist and thought one of those words I wish young people wouldn't say so readily, like the day my father remembered the hammer he'd hung on a tree branch as he swung down from that very same branch, except his words were "darn it!," the nastiest language I ever heard him utter.

Now came luck. The neighboring tree reached out and caught its long-time companion, as if to say "don't leave me yet." And more luck. When I called Dudley's Tree Service, he'd just finished a job and was on his way over. Karen and I pretended to be traffic cops for an hour or so, then the job was done.

"You had me worried," says Virginia.

You worried? Think how we'd have felt tonight if Mr. Dudley hadn't been so handy, if strong winds blew or rain turned to ice, and we feared some poor soul might drive under that leaning tree at exactly the wrong time. Phew!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Apple Cider, Worms and All

This afternoon, after several hours of making cider (see Karen's blog at, the man in charge looked at Karen and me and said something like, "All this has been given to us. Aren't we fortunate?"

When we finished and were getting ready to leave, Karen handed him a check.  Holding his hands back, as if we were playing "hot potato," he said, "No, after all that work, you certainly don't have to pay." "That wasn't work," we said, "and yes, we must pay." After all, although the apples had been given to us (speaking in a generic, world-wide sense), he had paid for them. Besides, in truth, it wasn't work. All I did was cut apples into quarters, listen and say something once in a while. Ten gallons in, I thought, what a great way to relax after yesterday's mulching of a garden bed and digging up potatoes.

The day had begun with a covering of white, our first hard frost, but the sun soon warmed everything to comfort, an afternoon so perfect for being outdoors that a few yellow-jackets joined our celebration. A month earlier we would have joined the yellow-jackets and the result might not have been so delightful.

The people who gathered to press apples probably wouldn't have met anywhere else. We didn't ask what each other "did." For today, all that mattered was that we shared the same boat, doing something our ancestors have done for centuries rather than taking a bottle off a shelf and placing it in our grocery cart.

Next weekend we'll be making apple butter and a couple months from now, instead of cutting apples, we'll be cutting pork. That's what we do.

"Together we eat the land that someday will eat us," said Virginia, summing it up. "Everything is connected."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Don't Stop!

So Fall frosts have killed the summer garden, don't stop. Spring will be here before we know it.  Let's prepare.

So another year is nearly over and we've met many goals and objectives, don't stop. Fun lies ahead.

So the big banks dropped plans to impose monthly debit card fees, don't stop. Move the money where the mouth is. LocalMore!

So the exam is done, the paper written, the project complete, stop for a moment. Enjoy the feeling. Relax sore muscles, tired brain, worried forehead. Notice things we've been "too busy" to notice.

Virginia says, "Remember when the schedule may have seemed almost too much to bear? It wasn't, almost, maybe, never, is."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Freezing New Zealand Spinach

1. Pick a big bowl of spinach.
"Big bowl, maybe," says Virginia, "but not a big bowl of spinach."

She can be so critical. It was a big bowl of spinach until I emptied half of it.

2. Heat olive oil in a saucepan and toss in the spinach.
3. Cook and stir constantly.
4. Cook down to dark green, then cool in a colander.
5. Stuff in a plastic bag or box and freeze.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More LocalMore

I understand the giant banks have nixed their plans to impose $5 monthly fees on debit cards.

"Why?" says Virginia. "Because so many customers complained?"

Maybe, but I don't think it was just the talk. More likely, it was because so many customers put their money where their mouths were, and moved their accounts to smaller, more local banks. See my blog posting for October 5, "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is -- LocalMore" at I wish I could say that my posting made a difference, but I can't. Hardly anyone reads this blog.

Now what? LocalMore. My brother-in-law, the former editor of a small town newspaper and now the creator of a successful on-line small town newspaper (The Bluffton Icon), many years ago made a point of encouraging readers to buy local. This was long before the "Buy Local" food movement. He thought it made sense for people to support their own townsfolk, especially the ones who offered products and services in downtown stores, rather than tripping off to Lima or Findlay or even farther to Toledo or Columbus. (And it probably helped sell ads for the newspaper.)

That's what I mean by LocalMore. It makes sense to buy things made near us, by people we know. Among other things, those items then don't need to be shipped hundreds or thousands of miles, back and forth, to fill our orders.

"But we don't know what's made nearby," says Virginia.

That's probably true, in large part. So we should find out. It's taken a lot of work for folks to coordinate the sale of food grown nearby (LocalVore). After all, it's often inefficient to drive here for a gallon of milk, there for a cabbage, and yon for a basket of strawberries. So someone has to accept the challenge of setting up a farmers' market or local food store. The same cooperation is necessary to pull together other products made locally.

"So are you going to do it?" says Virginia.

Well, um, I'm so busy as it is.

"Yea, right," she says. "That's what they all say. So the banks get bigger and bigger until they're too big to fail."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

November Gardening Month

November gardening month is almost here. Checking my calendar, I noticed last November was a very busy month in the garden, and it paid off come Spring. Ditto, I think, for this year.

As a prelude, yesterday I finally created a doorstep to the greenhouse, so air doesn't rush through the opening under the sliding doors.
See, under the doors?
And here, a doorstop.
"Oh, vapors," says Virginia, "you're making me dizzy."

Right. What color should I paint it? Porchy gray?

"I heard a racket out back." Virginia's talkative today.

Yes, I diced a hickory, I think, and an ironwood into chunks of future firewood. That's another project for November, should have been done in April or May.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


"Who was that masked girl?" said Virginia.

Liquid Gold

"What's the tower in the middle of that picture?" says Virginia. "It looks like you're drilling for oil."
Not oil. Something even more valuable, considering where Earth is headed.

If you click on the picture, perhaps you can see that the welldriller appears almost suspended in air, its four wheels up and off the ground. After digging 140 feet, the watermen went home to get some more equipment. Maybe they'll finish on Monday.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happenings in the Field

I always thought it'd be cool to travel by tunnel.
"I don't think that's deep enough," says Virginia, eyes rolling.

Gotta start somewhere.
Our new water pipeline for feeding animals and campers now lies in the bottom of this ditch.

Here's a view from the corner of our new fence.
And from the center fence that divides the field roughly in half.
Someday maybe we'll stage an Elk Cliff 5K or a donkey pulling a cart around the outside edge.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall Shopping Spree

"So you've closed down the garden for winter, right?" says Virginia, who seems to be on the mend but doesn't get out much.

Hardly. Would you like to go shopping? How about a salad? Lettuces, spinach and beet greens.
Maybe add some bok choy or chinese cabbage.
Let's toss in a few leaves of kale and broccoli raab (in memory of my friend, Peggy).
Of course, we need carrots, maybe some nips (turnips and parsnips), and dill, too.
Chives, basil and sage add flavor.
Maybe fennel and rosemary.
We almost forgot parsley, radishes and New Zealand spinach.
Adam and I missed an eggplant the other day when Mr. Frost stayed away.  He still hasn't arrived.
For more substance, we might add potatoes, green tomatoes or kohlrabi.
Now, before you go, how about a good cry? We'll dig up and grind some horseradish.