Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How Does My Garden Grow...?

Meet Poppy. This is the baby bunny we rescued from a neighbor's window well. And the reason we built the veggie bed 20 inches high. He lives in the wood pile next to the veggie bed and stares at it, cursing his short little legs. Muwahahahaha!!!

But I digress.

I knew I'd slacked off the blog a bit - but 2 months?! Holy compost, Batman! And to think I've kept you all waiting so long, just hoping to find out the latest tomato turmoil and corn

What? Not really? You haven't been angsting over the arugala?

Neither have I. As the summer has been flying by, the veggies have been flying upwards with very little effort from me.

One day the bed looked like this:

And, 60 or 70 days later, it looks like this:

Oh and this:

Those are the Swedish Fingerling potatoes on the left and the sweet potatoes on the right.
Apparently, potatoes wreak havoc on the soil and surrounding plants, so we're growing them in highly chic black trash barrels.

We've been able to start enjoying the veggies of our labor, which is a treat. We've had lettuce, which I can't seem to find a picture of, and these lovelies:

The tomato plants I ordered all died, so I went to
Family Tree Nursery and picked up some replacements. All cherry tomatoes, but different types with things like "Honey" and "Candy" in their names. (Oh, and some Italian whites that haven't fruited yet.) The few we've had have been very yummy.

The green beans - oh the green beans! French Filets
- and man are they good! (These can cost you a pretty penny in one of them high falutin' restaurants.) Harper hates green beans and says these "aren't bad." And Rick - not a bean lover at all - actually likes them.

We did a side-by-side taste test of our babies and the standard canned variety. Both lightly tossed in a little butter. The Filets were vibrant green color and tasted so fresh and "green, but in a good way," as Rick put it. No contest! After a slow start, these little bean bushes are putting out a goodly amount of beans each day. I have people looking forward to eating green beans, folks!

The corn isn't as high as an elephant's eye - yet - but it's getting up there. Here are some beauty shots of these Maple Sugar delights:

(Harper pointed out the pretty water beads on the corn silk this morning.)

The carrots look nice and bushy, hopefully we'll be able to eat them soon. We tried one of the Touchon carrots today:
They should be ready to harvest any day now, but this little guy was far short of the 6 inches in length it's supposed to be. The girls thought the flavor was ok. I took a bite - and felt like Tom Hanks' character tasting caviar in "Big." Bitter bitter bitter!! I tried to set a decent example for the girls by not spitting them out into the yard - a difficult feat. Harper ran and got me a chocolate mint leaf to get rid of the bad taste. Oh man, I hope these things get better!

Other than that, our grand experiment is going grandly. I've planted a 3rd round of lettuce and a second round of carrots, so we can keep enjoying veggies into the early fall.

Here's a tasty way to enjoy fresh green beans - don't try this with filets, they'll turn into little bits of charcoal. But you can grab a pound of fresh beans from the grocery store or farmer's market and try this. Very tasty.

Roasted Green Beans
An aluminum foil liner prevents burning on dark nonstick baking sheets and makes for easy clean up.
Serves 4

1 pound green beans, stem ends snapped off
1 tablespoon olive oil
table salt and ground black pepper.

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450 degrees. Spread beans on lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil; using hands, toss evenly. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, toss to coat, and distribute in even layer. Roast 10 minutes.
2. Remove baking sheet from oven. Using tongs, redistribute beans. Continue roasting until beans are dark golden brown in spots and have started to shrivel, about 10 - 12 minutes longer.
3. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper; transfer to serving bowl and stuff your face.