Tuesday, June 7, 2011

early june at the munchie patch

early despite the weather: this squash blossom, and much of my garden this year. the only warm-weather plants doing their thing early (or even on-time) had to be tricked or persuaded through extraordinary measures, like starting seeds crazy early or growing under cover. i’ve been growing this zucchini outside under an inverted fishbowl cloche since april.

i’ve never seen a female squash flower bloom before the males. i’m taking it as a good sign, even though i didn’t have anything to pollinate it with.

my cousin, aunt and uncle visited last week. my grandma ordered them here to celebrate my uncle’s 60th birthday--i can’t believe he’s that old, and he’s starting to look like my grandpa, it’s unsettling. two of the nights we had family dinners i picked huge salads, big enough to serve as an appetizer for all seven of us. one salad was topped with about half a dozen sliced radishes, the other with a handful of violas and some chive flowers (above.)

for the first time i’m growing enough greens to give bags of it away to friends. these goodies went to my friend jan.

the main salad bed is packed tight. i keep thinning it and it keeps looking like i haven’t touched it. the spinach bolted already so i took it out last night--now there’s a little more elbow room.

here’s the other side of that bed, full of mostly herbs and flowers: parsley, thyme, sage, calendula, basil, mitsuba (tiny seedlings), a strawberry runner, borage, garlic, marigolds and violas.

all of the violas are transplants from around the yard, reseeded by last year’s plants.

parsley is so lush and lovely right now. it’s one of the few things enjoying this cold spring.

i’m growing 12 different varieties of basil this year, but i don’t expect any of them to top the classic sweet basil in taste and smell.

teacup pot is full of herbs again: thyme (my first time growing it from seed--didn’t realize it would be so easy), parsley, a cutting of rosemary and a couple transplanted chive bulbs that had randomly started growing underneath the deck.

lots of flowers blooming this week...


sugar snap peas--finally. i planted a new variety that was supposed to be earlier than normal sugar snaps, and it bloomed about three weeks later than the ones i grew last year.

venous orange. i wish you could smell these flowers through the computer screen... they didn’t last long, but now there are two tiny green oranges in their place. i don’t know if they’ll stay on.

black hungarian pepper. such beautiful flowers--some of the leaves have purple veins, too. the peppers will be black-skinned and somewhat jalapeno-like.

marbles pepper, growing in a large coffee tin. it’s a bushy, dwarf plant that produces little round hot peppers that turn from yellow to purple to orange to red as they ripen. i’ve never heard of a color progression like that before, i can’t wait to watch.

favas. these flowers stick around a long time.

fuchsias in a hanging basket with petunias. i heard recently that fuchsias are edible, but then (from a more reliable source) i read that they produce edible berries but the flowers themselves aren’t good to eat. on the flavor of the berries, from wikipedia: “subtle grape flavor spiced with black pepper.” that sounds interesting.

blueberries are mostly done blooming, and it looks like i’m going to get some berries.

strawberries going strong.

bonsai tomato update: there are more than a dozen baby tomatoes and lots of flowers. almost none of the blossoms are dropping.

tomato seedlings are popping up around the garden like weeds, especially in the area where i grew a massive white currant tomato plant last year. dozens per square foot.

almost all my bush beans are up. i’m growing six varieties: dragon tongue, coco rose de prague, brittle wax, contender, purple queen and yellow filet.

most of the corn came up this week too, and so did a squash i’m really excited about: it’s called ronde de nice, an old french heirloom round zucchini. i didn’t know there existed a non-hybrid round zucchini until i found this kind.

five more ripe cherry tomatoes today!

japanese white icicle and sparkler radishes. i’ve pulled up most of them now to make room for more carrots.

potatoes, onions and garlic are doing a good job of growing themselves on the other side of the creek.

rainbow swiss chard...i’m also growing a white-stemmed variety, “blonde de lyon,” but it suffered an attack by leaf borers and is just starting to recover.

i can’t wait to nibble this red orach. i love when i get to grow and eat things i’ve never eaten before--i had my first taste of sorrel yesterday and i can’t get over how delicious it is.


GoneferalinID said...

So much to digest! Your salad bed looks very similar. Ours just keeps filling in. I love the violas. 12 types of basil? you are a mad woman/genius. We're doing 2. I still can't believe your tomatoes, although we have new fruits setting on the Krims, so they don't mind the weather I guess. I have some updating to do.

Jess in TO said...

The Marbles pepper sounds similar to one I'm growing this year, called Nosegay - it's about two or three inches tall and already budding. It's supposed to change from cream, to various shades of orange, to red - a bit different from Marbles. I'm trying a couple others that change colour: NuMex Twilight (purple to lavendar to yellow to orange to red) and Chinese Five Colour (purple to cream to yellow to orange to red). I haven't tried any of these before, and I can't wait to see how they turn out.

And I'm late in commenting on this, but thank you so much for posting about the different types of radishes! I had no idea, and I'm sure I would have made the same mistake.

Emily said...

goneferal--yeah, 12 basils, pretty excessive...i can't wait to see your updates.

jess--i looked up nosegay, that does look similar, maybe even cuter than marbles...and what a great name. those other two look very cool as well. i hope you start a blog soon so i can see all these awesome things growing! and you're very welcome on the radishes--i'm so glad that post has been helpful to people.

Tammy said...

Sounds like you are having the perfect weather. We are into major summertime here. Mid to upper 90's. Soooo hot!

All of your veggies and flowers are beautiful. Love violas in salads, but ours are long gone.

I have never tried sorrel either, now I am intrigued. Will have to get some.

Bumble Lush (A Garden Blog) said...

Emily, your garden looks AMAZING! I'm so jealous you've already harvested tomatoes. I hope mine catch up soon.

What varieities of basil are you growing? I've been curious about trying lemon basil or pineapple basil (I saw it at the farmers' market last week, may buy a plant tomorrow). Do you have any favorites?

Emily said...

tammy--i hope you can find some sorrel, it's really fabulous. i would trade weather with you for a few days! i think we've only broken 80 like three times so far this year. i'm ready for hot weather.

bumble lush--the basils i'm trying are: dark opal, dwarf greek (globe type), holy (a.k.a. tulsi), red and green holy (a.k.a. krishna tulsi), italian flat leaf, lemon, lettuce leaf, lime, red rubin, spicy globe, sweet and thai. of those i've only grown red rubin and sweet basil before, and sweet was definitely my favorite. pineapple basil is awesome! i don't have any but i've smelled it before.