The Sunflower Destroyer

About a month ago, Peter mentioned a strange thing to me. He’d been weeding in the garden and noticed melons randomly sprouted among his tomatoes and peppers.  Assuming they had grown from thinned melon seedlings thrown into the garden to biodegrade, he unceremoniously yanked them from the ground.

I didn’t think anything of this incident – the main garden is Peter’s domain, after all – until the very same thing happened a few weeks later.

“Why do these melons keep coming up?” he asked as he pulled the last hapless sprout by its roots. “I didn’t think I had planted so many.”

That’s when I realized he wasn’t unearthing random melon plants. He was destroying my sunflower sprouts.


And that’s how I went from ten sunflowers … to five (see above: the remaining sunflowers in my mini-flower garden).

To his credit, Peter apologized for cutting my sunflower crop in half. And really, how many giant sunflowers does someone need? These plants grow something like ten feet tall. You know what doesn’t grow ten feet tall? Kale.

(How’s that for a segue?)

I planted several heirloom kale plants in a corner of the main garden and they’ve flourished. Remember these weaklings seedlings?




This tender kale is perfect for a summer salad topped with peaches and a balsamic vinegar dressing. And look! I happen to have one of these salads on hand.



How’s that for coincidence?

I fancied-up this salad with julienned basil leaves. If you’ve never tried this technique, here’s a visual guide:


Stack basil leaves and roll lengthwise.


Chop in 1/4-inch slices, as if you were slicing a carrot.


And there you have it!  The perfect topping to a gorgeous salad.

kale salad

Balsamic Peach and Kale Salad with Feta Cheese

  Prep Time: 5 minutes

  Keywords: raw salad vegetarian kale peaches

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • 4 medium kale leaves
  • 1 small peach, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 basil leaves, julienned


Tear kale leaves into bite-sized pieces and discard stems. If desired, massage kale for 1 minute to soften. Add peach slices and crumbled feta. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil and mustard. Drizzle on salad, then top with basil.

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Q: Are you growing anything this year? What’s your favorite kind of salad?

P.S. The Meyer lemon is blooming … again!



  1. Aww well I’m sure the remaining sunflowers will be so gorgeous and vibrant that you won’t even miss the other five.

    I’m so in love with this salad! Peaches in salad are totally my kind of meal lately.

  2. Peter seems very efficient, thank goodness you’ve still got five left 🙂

    I love kale and I really want to try this salad. I always eat the same kinds of basic salads so it would be great to mix it up more.Especially when feta cheese and peaches are involved 🙂

    There’s a small potted lemon tree in my backyard but I haven’t tried any lemons from it yet. Eating something you’ve grown yourself is the best!

    1. I never thought about it that way! I guess I owe Peter a thanks! 😉

  3. Oh this posts reminds me of Nick! He comes in from the garden every night complaining about something….and the other day he said our squash plants were dead and he was going to rip them out. I said NO! Give them more time, and what do you know? They are thriving now!

    The salad looks great. I’m really into adding basil to my salads lately. I seriously add it to everything, actually. It’s my favorite summer herb, for sure.

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