One of my new-to-me plant varieties this year has been the Cuore di Bue Tomato, a paste/sauce variety. The insides are dense, with oxheart-style lobes, and have very few seeds. As with any plant variety you attempt to grow, the fruit is a result of […]
Fresh Shelling Beans
GrowingWhat’s beautiful about kale is that it loves our weather, and just keeps growing–a “tender perennial.” I’ve found it to not be picky about soil (my best kale ever were volunteers that sprouted in an area of hard clay that I barely ever watered), and have seen some plants produce sweet leaves for two full years before flowering and going to seed. A plant that’s easy to grow, that can be harvested at your leisure, and tastes amazing? Definitely worth it.
SourcesBotanical Interests: Many Varieties (I LOVE Lacinto/Dinosaur/Toscano best)
SourcesAmazon: Seeds Local Nurseries
SourcesBotanical Interests: Many Varieties
You’ve done the dirty work. You’ve raked, dug, and planted. You’ve fertilized and watered and weeded. You’re ready to reap the (literal) fruits of your labors, and harvest some ripe, red tomatoes from your garden. But instead of plump, soft-skinned gems, you find stunted, leathery-bottomed, […]
What can we do about Garden Waste?
- Plan ahead for consumption. Try that staggering of planting I talked about, if you can, with vegetables like corn and cauliflowers. Make better decisions about foods your family will actually eat.
- Plant less. It’s natural to over do it, and plan for the worst by having 4 or 5 plants when the yield of 1 or 2 will do. If you know you can grow it in your climate, and know how to ensure it will survive, then plan for that. If you aren’t sure yet, then overplanting is naturally the way to go–you’re trying to see how this new plant grows for you. But when you get the hang of it, lay off the extra plants.
- Pick more. Check on your garden on a regular schedule, every day or every other day, with garden shears and a basket in hand. If it gets too hot during the day, plan for the morning or dusk. But keep to the schedule, and in this way you will find those tender green beans and tiny, crisp, baby zucchinis.
- Never plant more than one zucchini plant. No one household ever uses even half of a zucchini plant’s yield. And nobody like zoodles, so please stop pretending that’s going to somehow happen.
- Tackle it, head-on. When you find your tomatoes falling off the vines, pick them up and compost them. Find every. single. acceptable, ripe tomato and collect it, and find ways to either cook up a big batch of sauce to store in the freezer, or to give them away to friends and family. At the end of this, you’ll be back to a clean, productive, non-rotting garden, and you won’t fall into the depths of OGD (Overripe Garden Despair).
- Don’t force yourself to consume food you don’t want. Overripe food is gross, like huge, dry green beans with strings and unchewable skins–I used to not only eat those horrid things, but I would parboil and freeze them, as if I would ever actually see those and say “Yum, let’s have green cardboard with our dinner tonight!” Same thing with corn. You don’t have to suffer for your garden in this way. It will turn gardening into a chore.
- Accept that some waste will come, and that the natural world sees this all the time. Plants in the wild have the same problem, and they fruit decays to nourish the soil, their seeds grow more plants, and they go on. But ensure that your garden waste ends up in your compost bin or pile, so that it can returned to the earth.