Monday, June 11, 2012

Knee High By July

Garden 104 - June 10, 2012
I aimed to sleep in on Sunday and spend a lazy day in the garden.  My version of sleeping in seems to be getting up at 8:15, realize I'm out of eggs, lament not owning a live chicken, make pancakes anyway.  By 10:00 I was texting some willing garden slaves because I was ready to go.  It rained all week last week, which meant fewer garden trips, but that also meant there was work to be done.

First stop was Plant World on Eglington to pick up some beets.  I've pretty much given up on the seeds, and was looking for some plants - which, of course they have none because it's mid-june. 

Can I just say that I find it very odd that garden centers in this region stock themselves to the fullest for the May long weekend and then don't stock anything else afterwards?  I get it, we have a short growing season, but you don't have to put everything in all at once! In fact, some things, like the brussel sprouts, are meant to be done in cooler weather.   

Anyway, so, Plant World had no beets, so we decided to change plans and plant more lettuce since it seems to be doing really well so far, and we're eating it up.  

The Salad Bowl lettuce is my new favourite because not only because it's tasty, but because it regenerates itself like a mofo.  I'm going to try not to touch it this week because we are having a BBQ on Sunday and I want to be able to make a giant salad for everybody.

We're also successfully regenerating my other favourite, Buttercrunch, but it seems to be a bit slower.  That's ok, it's worth it.  The leaves are super tender, but with that distinct crunch.  What can I say, I really really like salad!

Pak Choi, not Bok Choi

So, my neighbors are growing this really beautiful looking Bok Choi.  It's so cute, with little perfect heads protruding from the ground.  I have been wondering for a week now what is wrong with ours? Why does it look so unseemly?  Turns out, it's not Bok Choi, but Pak Choi..which is a relative of Bok Choi.  

And here I was thinking I screwed it up!  Turns out I just can't read.  Win?

With that new information, we cut it back, because I had to pay my garden slaves with something. I actually am looking forward to eating this, I took a sample bite and it tasted kind of like turnip.  I think we're just going to sautee it and see what happens.  Speaking of sautee, the scapes from last week's garlic surprise were awesome!

Knee high by June?
In other news, I had a nice long chat with my favourite farmer (Hi Uncle Dave!) on the weekend about corn.  Firstly, if this works, we're going to have a lot of corn.  I was thinking at first maybe 2 years per stalk but he says we can expect 4-5.  I also learned that farmer have a little rhyme "knee high by July" which basically means, as you can see from this picture of  my pasty leg, we are ahead of the game.  The beans are coming up nicely beside the stalks, even though it looks like something might be nibbling them.  We picked up a butternut squash to go in here as well.

I think the Aboriginals were on to something with this whole beans, corn, squash thing.  The corn grows, and gives the beans a stalk to climb, and the tangle of squash vines around the base is supposed to keep the racoons out because they don't like climbing through it.  Hopefully that works, as it seems most people's primary complaint about corn is that they can't keep the racoons out of it.

Peas Please!
 The peas are looking pretty good, not sure what we did last year that was different than this year - don't care. There are flowers on them this week, which means sugar snap and snow peas are just around the corner.  Maybe by next weekend?  I know last year the pods seemed to show up really fast.

Cauliflower has sprouted.  We threw them in the space where we were hoping to have some thai chillis but they never germinated.  That's ok, I like cauliflower and I feel like a real professional growing it for some reason.  I have no idea what this is going to be like to grow.  All I know is that we put seeds in, they have come up, and I need to thin them out.  Adventure!

Sad Eggplant is Sad.

We have eggplant, but no idea what it's doing.  We put it in the ground as plants, and they've grown a bit, but now they're just sorta hanging out not doing much.  I should probably look into that.

 And lastly, the oh so pretty cucumber has found the trellis and started to climb.  It's even got a few flowers on it.  I can't wait to see this whole trellis covered in cucumbers.  They are going to be so much easier to harvest this year I  think, because they are all going to be off the ground.  Hopefully we are going to get some excellent pickles.

Last year, we learned the hard way that you have to take them when they are tiny.  We left them too long and they got massive, but we still made some pretty good pickles.  I can't wait to improve our technique.

Will work 4 food.

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