Pretty Green Growing Things

2010/04/06

My garden has been doing rather well (knock on wood) since I started spraying the plants with a very diluted mixture of cayenne pepper powder and garlic cloves in water.

My radishes are growing really quickly; they are perhaps even too crowded. I am going to look into thinning them out.

My baby lettuces are also doing quite well. I added some watercress in the empty corner today.

The beets are growing slowly but surely. I am going to add a third planting tomorrow.

The carrots are actually still growing despite being torn up. They are even getting their first true leaves.

See, those actually look like carrots (if you look really closely).

Not long ago I planted some kale and swiss chard. Here they are starting to come up.

Last Sunday and today I hobbled around in my garden and got a lot of new seeds planted, mostly herbs. Stay tuned for the following over the next few weeks:

  • Chicory
  • Watercress (mentioned earlier)
  • Sweet Basil
  • Genovese Basil
  • Purple Basil
  • Thai Basil
  • Lemon Basil
  • Cinnamon Basil
  • Monarda
  • German Chamomile
  • Feverfew
  • Stevia
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Cilantro
  • Greek Oregano
  • Dill
  • Chervil
  • Green Onions
  • Chives
  • Garlic Chives
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I hate squirrels!

2010/03/24

I used to think squirrels were cute, but then I started gardening, and things like this happened.

It is hard to see in this picture, but almost all my tiny carrot sprouts, that only just started coming in, were uprooted. I tried replanting a few, but I don’t know if this is going to work.

They also rooted a bit through the radishes, which are growing like wildfire, but not as much. I guess squirrels don’t like radishes as much as they like carrots.

My beets are also starting to come in, which is exciting. They were untouched by our little rodent friends.

Also untouched, knock on wood, was the lettuce bowl. Last Sunday I added some Catalina spinach seeds to the mix, so I am looking forward to everything growing up.

Finally, my first fava bean sprout has emerged. I only planted 4 of these, which might have been a mistake, because this pot was rooted through a while back, and I am not sure how many are left to sprout.

Oh well. You live and you learn. And you buy a wooden owl.


Houston, We Have Lettuce (and Radishes)

2010/03/16

Gardening Update:

No news yet on the carrot, beet or fava fronts.

Radishes, however, have started to appear en masse (although they are still very tiny):

Also, we the first little lettuce leaves have started to appear:

These are some serious microgreens.

In other news, I have bought some hot pepper seeds (in a mix that includes Anaheim, Ancho, Cayenne, Jalepeno, and Hungarian Wax Peppers). I will start them inside soon.

p.s. Sorry I haven’t updated recently. I was busy this weekend, and then I fell down the stairs to my basement on Sunday night, so I didn’t cook yesterday. But I will be making some things tonight, so expect some make-up posts soon!


You Can’t Always Get What You Want

2010/03/08

Last Saturday, I was so happy. When I was at the farmers’ market, the mushroom lady said that this might be the last week for chanterelles until the fall…and she only had two baskets of them. The lady in front of me and I promptly shelled out our $10 each for the pint, even though my favorite hedgehog mushrooms were at the end of their season, too.

Tonight I was tired and wanted something filling and tasty, so I thought I would roast the chanterelles with sweet potatoes. To do this, I cubed the sweet potato, roasted it at 350 F with olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and whole garlic cloves (crushed a little). About 7 minutes after I started the potatoes, I added the mushrooms. I cooked them another 15 minutes or so, then sprinkled on some parmesan cheese, and then put them back in for 5 more minutes.

I really wanted this dish to be spectacular, but it fell flat. The sweet potatoes tasted great, but the mushrooms were rubbery and so tasteless that even adding salt didn’t help. I was not happy. Ian had a chicken breast (dredged in a tiny amount of flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and thyme, then pan-fried), which he said might have been the best chicken breast I have ever cooked (yay! I am getting better), so he didn’t mind picking the mushrooms out and just eating the sweet potatoes. I, however, had to scavenge the kitchen for something else to eat.

As for the reason I was tired… I was really busy this weekend.

I got started on my early spring planting yesterday. Boy is my back sore. Hopefully it will be worth it.

We have fava beans…

A mixture of lettuces…

multi-colored carrots…

mixed heirloom beets..

and four types of radishes: daikon, watermelon, cherry belle (regular), and French breakfast. I also prepped some pots for herbs, spinach, swiss chard, and kale, but it is still a little early for planting them, so I will wait a couple more weeks. Stay tuned for updates.