Now to the garden. It may just look like a crazy mass of random plants, but there actually is an intentional order to it (and some intentional wildness). The large plants in the background are kale that we are hoping to get seed from. We planted these plants last year. The seed came from Katie's grandmother, Ginya, in 2002. We are almost out of the seed, and it is nearing the end of its viability, so we wanted to get some more seed. We are not sure what the variety is, but we have never found it anywhere else. The seed pods are just about mature, so we will probably pick them this week. We are anxious to see if the seed is relatively pure. In the foreground is some of the same kale planted this spring. It has already yielded copious amounts (just look further down the page). There are also orange calendula flowers, a sage plant on the front corner, and bunching onions around the border.
This is the same corner of the garden. Toward the top of the picture, tucked in under the kale are beets and swiss chard. The chard will be happy to see the big kale plants go soon.
This is a picture from the other side. In the front corner is some dill. Calendula, beets and cayenne pepper are behind that. The green and purple patch in the middle is our salad mix. There are about five or six different varieties of lettuce growing together. One benefit of having a cool early summer is that we have had an abundance of salad greens. We cut from this patch at least once a week and have more than enough salad. Now that the weather has warmed up, I expect each cutting to be the last and that the lettuce will bolt or turn bitter with the heat, but we harvested yet again today, and it was still just as tasty. When the lettuce does bolt, I plan to leave it so that we can gather seed from it to have our own seed for salad mix next year.
The green mass in the middle of this picture is carrots (more on those later). The plants with white flowers sort of growing over the top of them are arugula. This is arugula grown from our own seed that we grew last year. Now it has gone to seed, and we are almost ready to collect the seed from it for next year. To the right, it is hard to tell, but there are six varieties of peppers, some of which are setting on pretty well, though the plants are a bit scraggly. We need to get some more compost on this area. The peppers are planted amongst another variety of bunching onions. In the front right corner is the mint that we try to keep contained to this small corner.
The tomatoes are quite a bit taller than Josie. She will still be able to reach the cherry tomatoes (2 types) that grow right by the path. We can hardly wait. Tucked in around the tomatoes are numerous basil plants, some thyme, and on the far side chives, oregano and garlic chives.
Here is Anna standing by her "fireplace." The largest sunflower was her fireplace where she was frying corn and strawberries. In the foreground is one of our zucchinis.
Some of the bunching onions which went in our Indian lentils and rice.
We harvest this much kale at least once a week. This will be used for tomorrow's dinner.
Our friends Darren and Ruth and their daughter Alex came over for dinner, so it was joy to get to share from the bounty of our garden with them. We had Indian lentils and rice that used onions and mint from our garden, sauteed chard and salad greens with shredded carrot. That's when it is really fun and fulfilling-- growing good food then sharing it with others
We even had a little flower arrangement for a center piece. Calendula, cosmos, mint and cilantro flowers.
And one more picture of Anna at the end of the evening as she decided to decorate her hat with clothes pins. (She's wearing the dress that Mitch made her for Christmas this year. Josie has a matching one. He sewed them without even using a pattern. Quite impressive, really. )