Thursday, June 11, 2009

Edible Garden

Oh, the eatin's gettin good around here! 

In addition to artichokes and lettuce, we're enjoying 
  • Sorrel: An easy to grow perennial; try it in chinese chicken salad.
  • Beets and beet greens: Try shredding the young greens and adding them to salads. Not wanting to run my oven for an hour, I cut and sauted the roots (with carrots) as Ed Smith recommends in The Vegetable Gardener's Bible.  I really like this book for general (organic) gardening advice, although it's not specific to our region.
  • Carrots: My 7-toothed-toddler enjoyed thinning (pulling and eating) the tiny starts. He helped me plant them.
  • Mexican zucchini:  Parents can grate it and sneak it into many kid foods, including "green eggs and ham."
  • (A few) beans: I didn't plant enough (again).
  • Bell peppers.
  • Basil: Can never have too much. Made our first pesto last week. Try it with pecorino/romano instead of parmesan.
  • Corn: Our three plants already have eight ears. I mulched around them with the sweet peas I'd pulled from the spot. Some resprouted and may be providing (fixing) nitrogen on the spot.
  • Celery: Okay, we're not enjoying it. It turned out incredibly bitter. 
  • Strawberries: Not many of ours got truly tasty and we were always battling slugs and pillbugs, despite using Sluggo Plus. Anyone know if strawberry pots help keep slugs at bay? Yes, I will also try beer spas. Sweet or not, my son never tires of picking them. 
  • Cucumbers.
We are about to hit the tomato jackpot. We started several San Marzanos from seed and the green fruit is huge, just about to blush. The sun golds are ripe, and we're gobbling them up right off the vine.

Finally, we'll be eating pumpkin pie on Independence Day! We started ours indoors in early March, so they're giant already. Here's how we did it.


  1. Wow, you must have gotten your summer crops started early! My tomatoes are just starting to show fruits, and my squash haven't even bloomed yet. I'm jealous.

    When did you plant your artichokes? I'd love to grow them next year, but wasn't sure when (or where) to plant them. Did you start from seed or buy seedlings?

  2. Yes, I confess that in early March I was so eager to have my toddler plant seeds that we sprouted pumpkins, basil and tomatoes indoors. My butternut squash is going very slow. Has not bloomed yet. And my watermelon just barely has true leaves.

    The artichokes I got from Marta Teegan of Homegrown Los Angeles. I hired her last fall to help me start some new beds so I could learn from her. She put the chokes in in late November. But I'm guess you could start them as soon as temps cool. Pat Welsh (author of Southern California Gardening) put says you can start them in Feb and March, as well as bareroot planting in October and November.
    I'm noticing that Ed Smith recommends (in warm areas like ours) chopping them at or just below ground level in late fall and covering with mulch.

  3. I should say we put in small plants in the fall.


Please share your thoughts