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April 2009

Garden Update

I've posted some additional photos to the "Expanding Our Garden" photo library.  

We now have everything planted:  various salad greens (the arugula is already coming up--yum!), radishes, carrots, cucumbers (for Danielle), beets, beans, corn, swiss chard, a load of peppers (from mild to mouth-scorching), asparagus, potatoes, muskmelons (for Crystal) and (queen of the garden) an abundance of tomatoes.  To top it off, we've added in some herbs at ends of the beds--oregano and dill--both because we love to cook with fresh herbs and because they should attract beneficial insects.

Last year, I hacked up the ground, added some compost, and chucked in the plants.  They did well, but when you're an OCD farmer more and bigger is always better.  So as I've already noted, I put a lot of work into amending the soil in the beds, and it's already showing great results.  We've added row covers (not shown in the photos) and some bird netting to keep the little birds from munching on the miniature carrot tops and other shoots.  We followed the full Grow Better Veggies recipe for planting the tomatoes, including use of fresh fish heads.  OK, they were from farm-raised trout bought at Costco, but I was proud of being able to put expediency ahead of rigorous adherence to a preconceived plan of going to Morgan Hill (Poppy's) for fresh-off-the-boat fish heads.  I've also taken to visiting the garden in the evening, picking off the bugs and tossing them into the chickens' area for immediate "recycling".

The asparagus is already starting to flower.  We have to let it flower this year, then cut it back and we can begin to harvest next year.  I had a bite from one of the stems the peacocks bit off, and it was very tasty.  

So things are just starting to pop up out of the ground, but we can't wait to begin harvesting and enjoying our crop.  We've got a variety of peppers and tomatoes (no tomatillos this year), so just add onions and tortilla chips and salsa by the pool is in our future!