The weather was quite mild yesterday and I was able to take the camera out to the garden and take a bunch of photos. (This is a long post). So, let's take a tour of the garden to see how things have been growing.
The Portuguese Dairyman's kale is reaching toward the sky and starting to bloom. I'm trying to save seeds from this variety and I'm hoping that my 8 plants will be enough to produce some health stock. More plants would have been better, but there just isn't enough room. I've been diligently snipping off blooms of any other brassicas in the garden to prevent easy cross pollination.
The garlic is growing by leaps and bounds now. Just this week I started pulling some of the green garlic stalks to cook with. Garlic is so tender and mild at this stage that it's difficult to keep from harvesting loads of it.
Elsewhere in this bed I recently planted out some Sugar Magnolia Purple Snap Peas. They're doing well, except something got past my defenses and took one of the plants. At first I thought it was a gopher, but it seems that something just pulled out the entire plant and left a hole that neatly matched the size of the paper pot that the seeds were started in. I suspect a rat. Today I had to pull down the remay that I had draped around the trellis and staked into the soil because it was being blown around by strong wind gusts that heralded the storm that is drenching us at the moment. I hope I don't find more holes tomorrow.
A headless Romanesco Broccoli Plant. I've been cutting off the leaves to give to the chickens, they love them!
The last little head of Romanesco waiting to be harvested.
You can barely see that little thing buried in the middle of the leaves.
Purple Flowering Choy Sum under the water bottle cloches. The black nursery flats that you can see in the photo are supposed to be protecting some Bok Choy. The didn't work well, there's only 2 tiny plants left. Oh well, try again...
Across the path in a different bed you see a patch of Dolvi Celery Root.
And minutes later you see a patch of soil, no more celery "root".
Those big plants were starting to bolt. So I yanked them all out.
With nary a big fat root to be seen. So, they are all now on the compost heap. Too bad the chickens don't like this vegetable, there was a lot of it.
Let's hope the potatoes are better behaved. They look good in the photo, but after the gusty winds this afternoon they are all leaning towards the path. They look ok though.
And at the other end of this bed the Red Florence Fennel is starting to look a little more like Florence Fennel. I braised some it last night and found it to be tender and delicious, if a bit small still.
The Golden Chard had a huge growth spurt in the last week or so, I picked a bunch of that today. Behind the chard are small kohlrabi plants, not yet living up to their "Gigante" name. And behind the kohlrabi is the Red Fennel and the Hollow Pipe of Malines Cutting Celery. And there's a few small scallions on the right that are finally staring to grow.
The next bed is newly planted out with some Piracicaba Broccoli, Romanesco Natalino (a mini version), and a couple of Mammoth Red Rock Cabbage, all under critter proof (hopefully) water bottle cloches.
Inside the remay covered tunnel are Even' Star American Rapa (in the back), frisee, mizuna, and an Asian green that I can't remember the name of now and I'm not going out in the rain to check the label.
The only pepper plants that I haven't pulled out of that bed are the Pimento de Padrons. They still have quite a bit of life left in them.
This Pimento de Padron plant is doing particularly well.
Next to the Padrons is a patch of Golden Corn Salad that was planted from various volunteers that sprang up in other areas of this bed. They didn't seem to mind being transplanted at all.
A well picked Olive Leaf Rapini Plant. There are still plenty of sprouts forming, although they are getting smaller.
There's all the Olive Leaf Rapini plants in the foreground and Monticello Poppies behind.
I finally got some Burpee's Golden Beets to germinate under lights with no heat indoors. They are starting to grow!
Here's the Golden Beets from Renee's Seeds that were started later and I think will fast overtake the Burpee's. I'll have to do a taste comparison, if the gophers don't beat me to it.
This is a seedling of a Devoy Beet, an English heirloom beet that is supposed to be dark pink.
The Chioggia beet seedlings look a lot like the Devoys.
Across the way are some lettuce seedlings growing under another remay covered tunnel. These are Butterhead and below are Noga and Cimarron romaine seedlings.
The rest of this bed is devoted to Fava beams. On the left are Early Purple and on the right are Early White. The smaller fava plants in the forground were a second planting of the same varieties sown a couple of months later. After the wind today they all are leaning well to the left, I hope they didn't get too pushed out of shape.
The first planting is in full bloom and was abuzz with beneficial insects yesterday. So far I haven't seen any of those nasty little black aphids that love fava plants.
The first little beans are showing.
I've let Sweet Alyssum run rampant along the fence inside the garden. The flowers are magnets for beneficial insects. This year I've seen the lowest populations of aphids in the vegetable garden and I attribute that to the Sweet Alyssum and other flowers that are attractive to beneficial that are blooming in the garden.
It's a little difficult to see in the small photo, but if you click on the photo you can see a nice patch of Shooting Stars blooming on the slope above the vegetable garden.
On the hillside above the house is an even nicer patch of Shooting Stars, with a few native Johnny-Jump-Up's in the mix as well.
And a few other natives. A few of the "Munch Bunch" sauntering by as I'm busy photographing the flowers.
That's half of the Bunch, there's a couple more does that hang out regularly and a couple of young bucks that visit as well.