Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Leaving the Garden (just for awhile...)

Cucumbers came first for me...two a day, seconds old.
I am SO ruined when it comes to cucumbers now.
Perhaps nothing will compare to the ones I had last week.

We've all got to pay the bills somehow,
so I'm back in NY to make it happen.

Make no mistake, as frugal as this whole project really is,
I have not taken out any loans and it ALWAYS
cost more than what one would believe at first.

I thought the trex deck would cost about $5000.
Multiply that by 3 and you'd be in the ballpark.

Still. This is for the long run, as all permaculture really is.
Blessed are those who can plant a tree and wait patiently
for 3 years before they are rewarded with fruit.

Its a bit strange to be back in this man-made-mess
called a city, but I'm adjusting quicker than I thought.

How did I cope? I bought a wonderful fig tree at the
Union Sq Greenmarket today. $18!

Now that is FAR cheaper than I would have expected.
I dont know how I'll get a four foot fig tree to MN,
but I'll worry about that when the time comes.

Ok...picture time.

These are "Black Krim" tomatoes.
Again, I'm spoiled forever.

This was my first year, and I did have a lot of tomato
plants, but I came out with over 250 tomatoes.
Multiply that by the crazy whole foods price of about
$3 a tomato (for heirloom organic) and you can see
why its worth growing your own. grew it, you picked it, you made a
wonderful dish of it with your loved ones.
No strangers involved really.

Its funny, I'd be up in the garden all morning without
breakfast, and around noon I would come down to eat.
Stopping myself a few times, I would remember:
"The food is HERE. Stay and enjoy."

(using my picking t-shirt)

When you eat these tomatoes, you will now know
why they are really classified as fruits.
That dark red beauty pictured above is a Cherokee Purple.
Simply divine.

These are some Shintokiwa Cucumbers.
Finest above all so far.
Click HERE for more info...
Grown from seed...nothing more satisfying.

Here is a darling watermelon that I had to leave
behind...maybe my parents can mail it to us?? Wink wink ;)

Notice those massive leaves all around?
SQUASH! If you want to create a luscious
living wall full of foliage, go with squash.

You wont get the same effect with most melons
and I couldnt imagine tomatoes ever coming close.
Go with squashes if you want quick results.

One of my better kohlrabis.
Blend the leaves in a smoothie
(they are VERY similar to red russian kale)
and mince or dice the ball below for a salad
or to create raw sushi rice. A great substitute
for jicama. I love this vegetable for its diverse uses.

Here is a tip. Do NOT grow these or any
of its relatives in the brassica family
(kale, collards, cabbage, broccoli) want to be picking off caterpillars...LOTS.
Little white "butterflies" will magically appear
and start to lay eggs on these plants.

I would go over each one every other day and clean them up,
but this is a hassle to say the least.
If you do choose to grow them, as you should,
because they are great and are wonderful
late season crops, keep them separate and put
a netting over them that will allow sunlight in
but will still keep out those butterflies.

Beside that though, NOTHING else was touched.
I even saw a rabbit in my garden once,
and even had a woodchuck take up a residence
not more than 6 feet from the garden,
and the only things injured were brassicas,
mostly cabbage and kohlrabi.

Were my other fruits more mineralized and impervious?
Maybe mineralized, but impervious...? Come on.
Still...not one thing touched my cukes, tomatoes, or anything else.
I did continuous sprays of putrified eggs and garlic around
the perimeter of the garden, so maybe that really did the trick.

Still...Im in the middle of the woods. There are deer everywhere,
and many more little creatures. Maybe there was food elsewhere?
Anyhow, I'm more than thankful that I didn't have to
resort to brutal violence to get rid of them.

Inspired at all? Its not too late to start,
even if you live in the northern latitudes of the world.
Many greens can still be started,
as can radishes and more.

If you live in the south, get some good soil and
GET OUT THERE! Plant some seeds
and show some cant go wrong.

250 heirloom tomatoes. How can you not love that?