June 20th 2011: Harvest Monday
June 20, 2011

Overall, the last two months were very stressful, because of personal, family, work and study issues… the gardens are a way for me to relax. And now I’m back to show off my harvest! Thank to Daphne from Daphne’s Dandelions for hosting Harvest Monday!

In the parents’ garden, most of the Asian greens, radishes and lettuce are out and have been replaced by the summer crops: hot peppers, beans, tomatoes of course, but also cape gooseberries and tomatillos, both of which I’m trying for the first time this year. The cape gooseberries are a little behind, but the tomatillos are starting to set fruits. Tomatoes look okay so far, the weather during the last ten days wasn’t ideal for them, but most are flowering, some started to set fruit. I’ll post some pictures soon. No harvest from the balcony this week, the parents’ garden provided more than enough.

Potatoes! approx. 1 kilo from one plant

Lavender

4,3 kg strawberries from the strawberry field were mostly dehydrated or made into jam

Cherries from my parents' tree were dehydrated or canned

Radish pods. Lots of them, more than 0,5 kg (one pound). These plants are really, really productive, unfortunately I had to throw half of them out because they took up so much space. It seems like they are slowing down anyway

The snow peas are grown on a space of maybe 1-1,5m² and produce about 1-2 pounds per week - and that's only the pods that I find! I wasn't very careful with staking, so the plants are just a tangled mess, but productive anyway. And the taste? Wonderful!

Mizuna, already chopped up and packed for storing in the fridge. Unlike other Asian greens, it goes bad pretty quickly, so using it before it spoils is quite a challenge - especially if you harvested 5 kilos over the last 10 days! Mizuna grows on a 0,5-1m² plot and by now I harvested probably half of it.

I cut some arugula before we'll throw it out due to bolting

Overall, I feel like I’m spending a lot of time in the garden – about 8-10 hours per week – and with my food – maybe another 8 hours per week. The whole washing, chopping, cooking, canning, dehydrating is fun, but time consuming. Anyhow, I now understand a little better what it means to feel a connection to your food.

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Seeds sown in week 15
April 22, 2010

Last week I sowed the following seeds on the balcony (on Saturday, 17th)

  • radish in the pot with nasturtiums

Radish is said to grow quite good in containers. There are different varieties, I sowed “Aspern”, which are rather big. They are already sprouting and seem to like the cold weather. I started the nasturtiums indoors, but they’ve already been outside for about three weeks. They were quite leggy, but they recuperate and become bushy. Nasturtiums are one of the easiest plants I know. They have beautiful flowers, and are edible as well. My variety is small and bushy, non clinging, the flowers are supposed to look rather “normal”, as you are used to, which means yellow, orange, red. The only disadvantage is that they attract aphids. Some gardener use this as advantage and plant the nasturtiums near other delicate plants, to attract to aphids to the nasturtiums and away from the other plant. I’m not so sure whether that really works…

  • cilantro

Is said to not mind the cold weather. Hasn’t sprouted yet. I’ve never grown this before and am not really familiar with the taste of cilantro, so I’m looking forward to the first harvest!

  • lovage

Many non-central-europeans don’t know it, but pu-leeeeease try it, it’s great! It tastes like a famous soup spice called “Maggi” in german, so some people call lovage Maggi-herb. You can put it (lovage) in soups, which adds a spicy taste. I personally like to put it into salads. As it’s name says, it’s lovely! The plant can grow up to 1 metre high and is perennial. Not yet sprouting.

  • mesclun

Forgot about the variety, but it’s already sprouting! I plan to harvest only the outer leaves, so it will grow again for a second and maybe third harvest.

  • arugula

Same as with mesclun. I plan to let some plants of the greens bolt, to get the pretty flowers and seeds for next year. Yes, they are sprouting!

The weather is still rather cold, especially in the morning and at night, that might be the reason why the herbs aren’t sprouting yet. I plan to keep you up-to-date on what’s growing with photos every Saturday. Plus I’m gonna show you what has started indoors and what I sowed this week. By now, the focus is more on edible than on mediterranean – it’s just so much fun!