The white flowers growing with the tomatoes and cucumbers (cages) and the beans (red supports) are coriander that over-wintered, and gave lots of good leaves from late winter through mid-spring. I’m now letting them go to flower and then seed. I like to use the flowers as a garnish. Still green and newly forming coriander seeds minced, along with whatever greens are still tender on the plant, are delicious in lightly cooked young vegetables. Almost flowery, like some Persian cooking. The fig in the right foreground, alas, has no buds this year. It wants to be planted in the ground on a sunny side of someone’s house. Local readers, if you want a healthy fig tree, comment or send an email.
The snow pea shoots were
And the kale flowers.
Hydroponic tomato from one of the farmers at the Penn Quarter Thursday market and organic avocado, tossed in tahini and then sprinkled with fine balsamic vinager, supplement sprouts grown on the counter and an assortment of tender garden greens.
Cool infusion of peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, and licorice mint.
The season has turned.
Peace and light, E — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.
It changes daily this time of year. In the sink, the last of the spinach that over-wintered. Making way for new plantings. A garden can only be this full at the beginning, if there is a commitment to thin constantly; otherwise the garden would suffocate itself. This kind of gardening plans on picking shoots and baby vegetables, while things that need to mature progress. A constant harvest, though because of the limited space, I need to supplement–mostly from local farmers’ markets for produce.
State of the Garden (And Anecdotal Evidence of Extreme Weather Occurrences Due to Global Climate Change)
Scheduled to arrive some time tomorrow is one of those impossible to forecast until it is happening because how fast the storm travels and a variance in its track of even 50-100 miles north or south, or east or west can make the difference between just a bit of rain, a lot of rain with a little snow, and a little rain with a lot of snow, or perhaps the dreaded wintry mix. What I would do for the garden would be different for the various scenarios. The best for continuing to thrive would be a 2-4 inches of snow that didn’t entirely melt when it hits 50F on Saturday and acts as a blanket when it is forecast to get below 20F. I harvested the tenderest of the greens and the last handfuls of unripe tomatoes (they need to be cooked and spiced–it’s way past the date they should have been able to grow). I left the hardier greens and the root vegetables. I will be watching for the true hard freeze right before which I will need to harvest everything. The extreme weather occurrence is not, however, the coming storm, but the fact that I still have this much growing without a cold frame in the middle of January.
turnips, arugula, grape tomatoes, chard, snowpea shoots, kale, roses, assorted lettuce, cilantro, carrots [not shown, but also growing: spinach, green garlic, mint, parsley]
I pulled no longer productive summer plants and planted lettuce, spinach, chard, and arugula. The birds have been eating my seeds, so I got seedlings at Eastern Market yesterday morning. I have planted some more seeds, but wanted back up. The grape tomato is still prolific, alone among the tomatoes. The cucumbers are completely past, making room for chard and turnips. It is time to make the last batches of pesto with the basil and parsley. Another blossom has come and not quite gone on the night-blooming cereus.
Every day, it seems, another cucumber (though this shall pass soon enough). And baby carrots–first new carrots of the season. I asked friends and neighbors who were at the house this morning whether they would like a cucumber. As fellow gardeners who are also members of a CSA, they denied with almost a shudder. It is evidently a good year for cucumbers not just in my garden.
I was just led to this blog entry on community gardening in DC from the DC Urban Gardeners‘ list serve’s daily digest. The blog entry was originally posted last spring, but still has helpful information, and the service provided by the blogger looks interesting too.
If you have been thinking about getting into a garden, now may be a better time to get on a waiting list than the start of the growing season. Now is the time that novices have realized that they don’t take care of their plots, and they are better off supporting the local farmers’ markets. If you cannot get into a garden, why not be the fantastic neighbor that starts a new garden?
In the interest of full disclosure, after a few years at the garden nearest to my house, I decided to restructure my tiny backyard to add three 3’X3′ beds. This gave me as much space as I had in the community garden. I would love to have both spaces or more, but since there was a long waiting list at the garden, I ceded my space. Currently most productive in my garden: cucumbers, hot peppers, and all sorts of herbs. Tomatoes aren’t doing too well, but I’ve gotten a few eggplants and my first big butternut squash. Yum!
How exciting to see not only what is ready to eat now — the greens and herbs and strawberries — but the promise of what will come throughout the summer, so long as my dedicated attentions continue; the weather is cooperative; and the bugs, birds, and squirrels and I can negotiate my getting a decent share of what ripens. The fairy rose in the last photo was a gift from a student who was an enthusiastic participant in my gentle/therapeutic class who left his body last year. Sweet to see the rose still thriving.