Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Garden record 2

Planted this year (stars are ratings for how happy I am with it):

- ***mini tomatoes, medium-sized tomatoes (like large mini-tomatoes) and orange medium sized tomatoes. Not bad, but still not as prolific as the ones the landlord had planted the first year we lived here, that I did not tend or tie up at all!

- **daikon. Small but edible. Handier than buying a large daikon and having most of it go to waste.

- ***fresh coriander (cilantro). It does very well here (surprisingly!) when planted in the ground, and in fact, seeds in last year's spot have grown up just as well as the small plants I bought this spring! Both are very tall and healthy, and I let both go to seed. Next year I may not buy any small plants, and wait for these seeds to sprout.

- **cucumber. Only two cucumbers have grown so far. Quite yummy.

- *pumpkin. The small plant I bought is growing alright, but no sign of anything pumpkin-like. Last year I tried seeds from a packet, and the plant never grew more than a few inches. The previous year we had a big pumpkin plant, with many pumpkins, but that plant had apparently come up naturally from veggie kitchen waste that the owners had buried in the garden. It seems that is the way to do it!

- ***green onion. Nice little green onions are growing in the green onion patch. They are smaller and lighter in taste than store-bought ones. Useful for all kinds of cooking.

- ***green chili. Very nice, strong plants this year. Lots of chilies! I put most in the freezer.

- ***potatoes. Plants looked healthy this year. Haven't started harvesting yet!

- *raspberry plant that my friend bought last year. We are supposed to be sharing the raspberries, but so far not many have grown. Another friend has a very healthy raspberry plant of a different species, with larger raspberries, and it is always sending out little shootlets, etc... I want to get a part of that one!

- ***spinach. This went well for a while, and I put some in the freezer and used some for salad. After a while I lost interest in weeding that area, and who knows how those plants are doing now.

- ***edamame. Just started harvesting 2-3 days ago. Going well so far! This kids like this with dinner.

- a small basil plant. This never really did anything useful.

- broccoli. Planted from seeds. Some leaves came up, but no broccoli at all! Caterpillars ate most of the leaves - maybe that was the problem.

- gobo (burdock root). I have no idea whether this even sprouted. I haven't been able to find it.

Things that were planted by our landlords before we moved in - these things seem to grow automatically year after year:

- **asparagus. I usually freeze them so they don't go to waste. They lose there fresh texture, but are still good for putting in coconut curry, wrapping with bacon, or whatever!

- ***chives. Yummy and grows automatically.

- ***Chinese chives (nira). Useful for coconut curry, nira tama (like an omelet with nira and other things), etc.! These plants grow up by themselves very healthily.

- *grapes. Didn't really tend them at all this year. At least one bunch of green grapes is visible.

- **parsley. These plants follow some unusual biennial system, where they alternate between a low, parsley-like shape and a tall, spindly shape. They don't mind being covered with about 3 meters of snow for 3-4 months! The snow is deeper there because all the snow from the roof slides off into the backyard. We have to put wooden slats up to protect the 2 windows back there, and the first winter the pile of snow reached as high as the bottom of the 2nd floor windows! I actually love parsley and used to eat everyone's parsley for them when we went out to dinner, when I was a kid. Unfortunately no-one else in my family loves it, but some can take it or leave it.

- **fuki. Butterbur, or something like that. We don't really do anything with this, but this year our next-door neighbors asked if they could come and harvest it early in the summer, so they did. They seem to have made several different dishes with it. It's sort of like rhubarb, I think.

- **strawberries! This year I discovered these for the first time - a few small strawberries were growing in a quiet corner. Small but sweet and yummy. Only 5 or 6 strawberries, though.