September 13, 2010

harvest season

these days, things in the garden are very tall.

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(not my garden)

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(also not my garden)

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(my garden. so short!)

my tomatoes are way out of hand. it's like a jungle thicket of tomatoes. have I ever told you that tomato vine is one of my favorite smells? like, top 5. it's so green and spicy. it reminds of being a child, spending summers out in the country at my cousins' house. my aunt had a vegetable garden down by the pond, with a whole long row of tomatoes.

tomato jungle

the one red tomato

tomato season's been hard on portland this year. if everything on my four little tomato plants ripens, I'll have an enormous bounty. but for right now, it's just green. every tomato in portland, it seems, is stuborrnly green. come on, sun!

seriously, come on sun. we're not ready for fall.

not bolted

things in my garden are pretty confused. I planted a lot of it too early or too late. I'm harvesting things at odd times. these brussels sprouts? I was SURE they had bolted. but not sure enough that I was ready to pull them (I didn't have anything to plant there anyway). so I left them. and now look what's happening. will they make it before the rains come?

the most confused plant in my garden:

confused watermelon

the watermelon. I know. it's crazy. I planted all my first plants late and it just sat there forlornly, not dying, but not growing. it wasn't dead so I left it alone and determinedly watered it. now, in mid-september, it's got NINE tiny melons on it, and about 50 blossoms. the cucumber is the same way. I don't have the heart to tell it that it's fall right now, not spring. maybe there's hope?

pepper

my peppers look great. except I supposedly planted one green, one red, one yellow, and one spicy pepper. two of them are regular green bell peppers, one of them is some sort of small, potentially spicy pepper, and the other one is something in between. all of them ended up green. cross-pollination, or bad labeling?

really tall fennel

the fennel is nearly as tall as I am. (behind it, the cilantro is too) I guess it's time. it turns out my number one problem as a gardener is letting go of these lovely plants long enough to pull them and eat them. the bees like the flowers on the fennel and cilantro so much that I just let them grow.

baby kale

baby chard

the kale and chard didn't grow very well, which is probably a godsend in the end, since I am overwhelmed by greens. I have one chard plant and four kales. those that are growing are great, but I planted a lot more (from seed) than that.

greens explosion

red lettuce

the greens (and reds) are out of control. that frisee -- I just can't eat it fast enough. it grows and grows. I pluck leaves off of it every time I'm there.

radicchio nest

radicchio

the radicchio remind me of happy babies for some reason. all swaddled up. I've had the hardest time finding the heart to harvest them. look how lovely they are! but it's time. I pulled my first one yesterday.

troll/radicchio

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you guys. I will never be able to eat it all. look at it. it's like Audrey II. it's twice the size of my head. I have like 12 pictures that all look just like this because my arm wasn't long enough to get the whole thing in the photo. it took me over an hour to wash it and prep it for salads. and I have FOUR MORE. anyone want some radicchio?

by the way, the rest of the harvest looked like this. don't laugh.
tiny harvest

the current count in the garden:
sage (x2)
chives (x2)
basil
lavender (looking sickly but hanging in)
fennel (x2)
thyme
catnip
radicchio
mesclun
red & green lettuce
chard
kale
walla walla onions
one lone broccoli plant (actually growing, also confused)
beets
parsnips (hopefully, they're so slow)
rutabagas
tomatoes
cucumber
watermelon
peppers (x4)
raspberry (needs tending)
petunias

I've learned so much this year. next year: more flowers! plant early despite the terrifying, unending rain! plan ahead! plant waaay more seeds than you think you need, because half of them won't grow! plant tall things so you have a big tall garden like everyone else!

now excuse me while I go eat 2 pounds of radicchio.

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