The Harvest Begins

I had plans to plant the large Plot Against Hunger this weekend, but it rained into early afternoon, so my volunteers and I did other things. Once it had cleared I went to the garden and cleaned my flower borders of weeds and added a bit of seed. Jane had planted five tomatoes in the small Plot garden, which also has some herbs. I will be getting four more Juliets grown by students at Episcopal High School tomorrow and will likely plant them expeditiously. Someone from the garden left me a boatload of pepper seedlings. Not sure what kind. I planted them today, so the small garden will be all tomatoes and peppers this year.

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The Columbines are blossoming.

It isn’t really important to plant the large garden yet. It is still early to plant summer crops. In fact, I decided not to put my seeds in today after talking with another gardener. Next week or early May will be fine.

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And the first irises are out.

I pulled some radishes this week, and had one of them in a salad tonight.

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These are called Easter egg radishes. The one I ate was spicy and delicious.

My greens were still lovely and I have some more coming on. I hope to have some hefty salads for lunch this week.

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I removed the cold frame today, as I wanted to plant Swiss Chard under the opened lid. I have not seen a rabbit. Fingers crossed!

I also got arugula as I expected and was very pleased with my seed choice. It is peppery and nutty, spicy, lovely stuff. Last year, I got some seed that produced bland, almost tasteless arugula. I remember something on the packet should have warned me, but didn’t. It was the salad equivalent of Tilapia. It made me reflect on what I can only think of as the infantilization of the American palate. I like a good strong salad with a bit of bitterness in it. I have to grow it myself, because all that’s available is bland baby greens. And don’t get me started on tomatoes.

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Yum!

I also had some lovely herbs. Lots of fresh oregano, cilantro, mint, and lemon balm. The lemon balm is already tea, which I will drink iced. The mint may become tea as well. Undoubtedly, the oregano will wind up in pasta. I hope you have a lovely Sunday and a very good week.

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Hmm. Mostly oregano showing in this bag.

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41 Responses to The Harvest Begins

  1. “Don’t get me started on tomatoes…” Same here. I love tomatoes, but not those poor excuses for tomatoes that are the only things available just now in the supermarket. Since I can’t garden, I’m hoping to grow them on my stoop, in a big pot this summer. Your greens look marvelous, and the bearded Iris..oh my!

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      There’s another iris that’s maroon. It’s amazing. As for the tomatoes, once I grew some early girls by mistake. I was incensed that I had actually grown those hard perfect tasteless orbs in the soil of my garden. Of course I had to get over it, but ugh…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree – it’s great when we find the cultivars that have the fullest flavour! Definitely don’t want to invest the time, money, and labour into growing something that is as tasteless as the supermarket produce.

    You’ve got a wonderful harvest of greens – and I can just imagine how delicious that radish was. And your herbs are fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have to get the heirloom seedling or seeds to get the taste you want Lisa – my heirloom arugula just keeps on seeding and growing and is wonderfully peppery. I’m intending to try and raise a supply of salad greens in pots this winter, we’ll see how that goes……… I just learned something from this post 🙂 I call your columbines ‘aquilegias’. I always thought columbines looked like them but didn’t realise they are them. I googled 🙂 Love yours, they are such a delicate hue of pink.

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Aquilegias. Wow. I wonder where that came from? Yes, I actually bought English seed called rocket for the arugula this year. And I invested in some grafted tomatoes–heirlooms on resistant root stock. We have a fungal wilt that kills off the tomatoes every year before I get enough. We’ll see how it goes. I also have some white aquilegias!! I did cut some today.

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      • Apparently it’s the botanical name and Columbine and ‘Granny Bonnet’ are common names. According to Wikipedia anyway. It makes sense to me as most of my plant names are botanical ones, I think my major influence in gardening, my dear aunt, must have used them.

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      • arlingwoman says:

        That makes sense. I wen to look it up and apparently it’s the genus name…That’s pretty cool–like a couple weeks ago when I think Derrick mentioned a plant and people started talking about it by it’s botanical name and Laurie said she’d never heard of it until I said it was money plant–which she knew.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary Tang says:

    So you’re warming up as we are cooling down, if you can call 24ºC ‘cool’ 🙂 It’s exciting to plan a new year of crops.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are ahead of us. Some excellent crops. I’m interested that you use columbine for aquilegia. Columbine, as used by Shakespeare, perhaps came over with the Mayflower?

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      I have no doubt someone brought some seeds! There are also quite a few wild varieties, which tend to grow in high elevations and wooded areas. The ones in my garden came from a wildflower mix (I was trying to see what would take on the hot sidewalk border) and unexpectedly took hold. I quite like them. My guess is that certain of them naturalized in the eastern part of the country. Interesting research project, I think.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Sylvie G says:

    Beautiful flowers and vegetables. Here they start to look tired.

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  7. KerryCan says:

    You’re harvesting?! It’s as if you live on a different planet! We can’t even think about planting anything yet. I’m so envious . . .

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    • arlingwoman says:

      You’ll have spring crops soon, Kerry. Well, late May-ish, huh? It’s really just early crops like radishes and the lettuces that grew in the cold frame. I do like our long season here, but really I shouldn’t be thinking about planting the summer crops yet. Maybe in a couple more weeks.

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  8. LB says:

    Lisa, the photos are wonderful! I’m so impressed with the fruits of your labor. The radishes and greens are beautiful, and I’m so glad the cold frame is keeping out the rabbits.

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  9. Brenda says:

    Yum. I planted some easter egg radishes this year and am happy to see they are as colorful (and tasty) as advertised!

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  10. Laurie Graves says:

    Have you ever tried radishes on toast with a bit of butter? I never would have thought of doing this, but an acquaintance of mine suggested it. She has a German daughter-in-law, and this way of eating radishes is very popular in Germany. As it turns out, radishes on toast are pretty tasty.

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  11. jennypellett says:

    Your salad leaves look wonderful. I’m with you – I love a peppery mix. And tomatoes…once you’ve eaten Provence tomatoes nothing else comes close. We can’t get anything with any sort of taste here, sadly.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. BunKaryudo says:

    Those are fine looking radishes you have there. Incidentally, I believe arugula is also known as salad rocket, isn’t it? I’ve yet to see it fly off the children’s plates in my house, though.

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  13. Lisa, your photos are lovely and of course, so is the garden. That’s an impressive mix of lettuce. When I was in grade school, our class planted radish seeds in an area behind the school. It was the first thing I remember planting, and thought it was pretty darn cool. Funny what triggers memories.

    I’m growing as many organic and heirloom varieties as I can for the same reasons mentioned: the flavor is superior. Apparently farmers spent nearly 70 years breeding the “perfect” tomato and in the process, killed the flavor in exchange for appearance and shelf life. Sad.

    Isn’t it wonderful to be gardening again? My spirit lifts this time of year. It must be doubly so for you after your cold winters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      It’s cold and rainy again!!! But I need to plant some pepper, eggplant and tomato plants that arrived today. The lettuce is so flavorful and the radishes are spicy, but not hot. I’m in gardener heaven–that beginning of the harvest. I think of you every single time I rip out a sweet pea plant and wish it could be in your yard where it wouldn’t take over!! I’m looking forward to my love in a mist and that will remind me of your garden as well. I love your radish memory.

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      • Oh crum! The east coast is really having a confused spring. I hope it’s a light rain so that the soil doesn’t get too saturated.

        I’m smiling at the idea of your ripping out sweet peas, and I also now understand how they can take over. I’m enjoying every minute of mine, knowing that they’ll wilt at the sign of our first heat wave. The love in a mist has lined the sidewalk, or front walkway, our back walkway and stands tall among the sweet peas. I’m letting them all run amuck. After four looooong years of drought, it’s a happy thing to behold.

        I’m looking forward to regular updates, Lisa. Garden on.

        Liked by 1 person

      • arlingwoman says:

        I’m so glad you got some lushness this spring. I hope your drought abates. Just planted some things today–only beans left to put in. it’s been very gentle rain and cool. We’ve had several long cool springs now. Hard to figure out weather patterns.

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      • It is hard to figure them out. All bets seem to be off when it comes to “typical” conditions. We’re having a cooler spring then I remember though I am not complaining. It’s far better than the high 90s and easier to sleep at night. It’s gusty right now which brings the temperatures down, so our days are still fluctuating between night time lows of 46 to day time highs of 75.

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      • arlingwoman says:

        Well, that’s the thing with the garden. It’s hard to tell what you’ll get. We may be in for another long cool spring.

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      • True that, Lisa.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Friends Who Blog and an Enchanted Light-Catcher – Gardening Nirvana

  15. Maria F. says:

    I love all of the images here. You have great subject matter! Sometimes I get tired of the flowers, I see these vegetables have so much color!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Chas Spain says:

    Everything looks so fresh and delicious – how green thumbed you are!

    Like

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