Thursday, October 22, 2009

Transitions in the Garden

This blog has been a bit thin of late. In part because I've been clicking away at prose that pays, but also because--do I need to say it?--it's fall! My son and I have been enthusiastically sprinkling, poking and tossing seed. More on this in a minute. But first, a farewell to summer.

The pumpkin bonanza is winding down. Our Renee's Garden Antique French Pumpkins have yielded a wonderful crop, on which we've feasted for nearly four months now. In addition to the previously chronicled goodies, we've also made several rounds of pumpkin bread and two kinds of pumpkin soup. We saved the misfits for jack-o-lanterns.

We've finally said farewell to the Amazing Super Zucchini. Here's a shot from a month before its demise. Note how it has overflowed the raised bed by four feet.

Back in late August we seeded some broccoli (pictured below next to basil) in pots and kept it partially shaded on the back porch. Next it was carrots, peas, then pak choi, beets, arugula and lettuces. Peas are among our favorites. Their roots host bacteria that pull nitrogen gas (N2) from the air and convert it to a form that peas and other plants can absorb (thus benefiting us all). And my son enjoys the instant gratification of plucking the pods and eating them right off the vine.

Next we'll plant turnips, spinach, leeks and garlic. We purchased our seeds from Renee's Garden Seeds, Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply, and Franchi.

When my son--a mere two-year-old--recently asked me, "Mommy did I come in the mail? Where did I come from?" There was a discussion of tummies--and seeds.

Pictured above: peas started in porous, biodegradable pots that can be placed directly in a bed when the seedlings are more established and less vulnerable to being uprooted by backyard wildlife such as possums.

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