Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Edibles: Nasturtium (with Guest)

The Nasturtium's leaves and flowers are both edible, imparting a peppery taste to salads or other dishes. Recently, Lindsay and I decorated some burritos with flowers from these plants. We didn't eat the Japanese Beetle.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Garden Log - Fruiting Vegetables

We've had a lot of sun and rain over the past few weeks, which has been great for the garden. It's been exciting seeing everything grow for the first time, and I'm particularly enjoying watching the fruit form on some of the plants.

Shortly before this picture was taken, I purged my beds of most of my brassicas. Cabbage moths were just eating them up. The mostly empty area seen in Raised Bed #1, here, formerly contained broccoli, cabbage, and kohlrabi. Of all my brassicas, the only kind I left was red cabbage. I haven't seen any caterpillars on these cabbages, probably because the more regular, green brassicas provide camouflage for the caterpillars, while the red cabbage does not. In the future, I intent to plant my brassicas together under netting to prevent the moths from getting to them.

This tiny King of the North pepper plant was the first to start producing peppers. A larger plant I have of the same variety has now surpassed this little guy in production.

Have I mentioned yet that I really like these Peruvian Purple Chile plants from Seeds of Change? They have purplish leaves to go with their purple flowers and the deep purple fruits. The peppers supposedly turn red when ripe. I'll be saving at least one of these plants as a houseplant for the winter.

Near the peppers in Raised Bed #2 is my lone Purple Tomatillo plant. It's huge and has been flowering for awhile, and is now producing some very cool fruit that look like little lanterns.

Of the three varieties of cucumber that I planted, these pickling cukes are the farthest along. The many yellow flowers growing on them hold the future promise of many delicious, homemade pickles.

My tomato plants in this bed are just starting to fruit, and the corn is beginning to form as well. Much of this bed, however, belongs to the zucchini plants.

I was shocked when I saw the zucchini in the second of these pictures. How did it get so big without my seeing it? Then I looked at some of the younger ones. It's really interesting how these form right out of the stalk at the base of the flower. I should plant more squash. Here's a full shot of the plant, crowding out my poor corn.

I have one more picture to share. This one shows one of the three mini red bell pepper plants that I have in pots. I'm a huge pepper fan, so I'm looking forward to these.

There has been a lot of growth so far during the summer months. I've been harvesting lettuce for some time now. I've had an abundance, and have therefor been able to share with friends and family, and also to bring some to Food Gatherers. I've been harvesting bunching onions, snap beans, and nasturtium flowers and leaves as well. Now I'm really looking forward to the maturation of all these fruit-vegetables that I've shown in this post, and also to this same time next year, when I expect to be noticably farther along.

This past week, I've planted some of the root crops that I've been a bit remiss with. Carrots, radishes, and bunching onions went into the spaces vacated by brassicas and lettuce, and I put in some garden cress and corn salad as well.

That's it for today. I've got a back-log of pretty pictures, which I'd like to post a steady stream of, one per day. I've also installed a new, small garden where some dieing bushes had been. The rain garden is still almost-but-not-quite complete, and I hope to put a post up about that in the near future as well.

Edibles: NuMex Twilight

This plant is a trooper. It lived inside this past winter and was beset by mealybugs. They were there for quite awhile before I finally managed to get rid of them. Then the poor plant was infested with aphids. They had eaten most of the leaves before it warmed up enough to bring the plant outside. Now it's my leading chile producer. This picture was taken a couple weeks back and some of the peppers are beginning to turn to their next shade, which appears to be white.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Edibles: My First Tomato

This little tomato did most of its growing while the tiny plant was still inside of a pop-bottle container. It's beating out all my other tomato plants. The fruit of the Furry Yellow Hog Tomato is supposed to be striped with white and yellow or green (as well as ping-pong ball sized and covered in peach fuzz), so I don't know where these reddish hues are coming from. We'll see.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008