TITLE: End of Summer Round-Up, Part 2
DATE: 9/26/2008 08:52:00 PM
In a nutshell, it was a great summer! My garden yielded more produce than I could have imagined. I had enough to share with friends and neighbors, and plenty for my own meals.
This was the first full season with my new garden… it was in the middle of last summer that I dug up all the crappy Cambridge “soil” (bricks, glass, trash with a sprinkling of dirt) and replaced it, 2 feet deep, with high quality compost. The new garden also gave me twice as much growing room as before.
I’ve resigned myself that the sage will be as much as an ornamental plant as it will be for cooking. I started the summer with 5 plants which quickly took over. I moved one to the front yard and dug up a second entirely, dried the leaves and burned it throughout the house to scare away any evil demons. Even with 3 plants (picture on the right), they look as lush as when the sage sagas began (picture on the left).
The aphids had a great time chowing on the brassicas – the kohlrabi, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Despite regular spraying (with organic pesticide, of course), I still lost a few plants. Speaking of cauliflower, I only got one head from the three plants. I enjoyed watching the flower grow out of the bouquet of leaves. But in the end, it was bitter and the yield didn’t justify the space. The kohlrabi on the other hand, did quite well. Roasted with olive oil and garlic, it was the dark horse of the summer vegetables.
I grew three varieties of tomatoes – 1 heirloom and 2 hybrids. The heirloom, on September 22nd looks as if it might give off one ripe fruit before the first frost. The hybrids on the other hand generated a few dozen. I forced myself to space the tomato plants with at least 2 feet between them – It took great self control to not crowd as many plant into the garden as possible, but in the end I was rewarded. The plants grew much larger with more fruit than in past years.
Similarly, the eggplant rewarded me by giving me lots of fruit. In past years, I’ve tried growing eggplant and have been lucky to get one spiny fruit. The zucchini on the other hand did not give me a single vegetable, though I did get lots of blossoms. The raspberry bush burst red twice – once in early June and a second time in late August.
In past years, I grew cucumbers mainly for my friend Anna who likes them so much. This year, I discovered the joys of pickling so I had very little in the raw form to share. The few that were spared the salty brine were snacks. I was surprised at how sweet they were!
The celery grew slowly throughout the summer. As needed, I would trim off a stalk to add to a recipe. I’m hoping that by mid-October I will have a celery root to harvest.
Labels: urban gardener
DATE:9/27/2008 11:44:00 PM
Nice job. Sorry no zucchini though.
I would love to taste a cucumber from the garden. I really enjoy them as snacks, with a little bit of salt, but have never had a garden fresh one.
DATE:9/28/2008 12:28:00 PM
Julia - are you using the stems of celery-root (celeriac)? that's interesting, I have never done that...
I am about to harvest the first celery-root. I also grew cutting celery this year (looks like giant parsley but a strong taste of celery - good in salad and garnishes, and summer green blender soup). I did not grow regular celery though...
DATE:9/28/2008 02:06:00 PM
Melissa, Thanks! It was certainly fun. I had never thought cucumbers to be sweet either. It could have been the variety...
Sylvie, Sounds like you also have a great garden!
DATE:9/29/2008 09:47:00 AM
Did you just do quick vinegar pickles or did you really ferment them? We had to make quick pickles because we basically lacked the time and space. Maybe next year...
DATE:9/29/2008 09:55:00 AM
Samablog, The bread and butter pickles were "quick" and I fermented the dill pickles for 2 days, though probably not long enough. You can read about the details here: http://www.growcookeat.com/2008/09/preserving-summer-cucumbers.html
AUTHOR: cook eat FRET
DATE:9/29/2008 10:09:00 AM
i desperately need a neighbor who grows things
DATE:9/29/2008 01:35:00 PM
I left a response comment oun our blog at www.cabotblog.com but thought I'd leave it here for expediency! What are you looking to learn? You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org