I don’t garden by “the rules” – I am friends with the couple who run the local urban garden network here in my city, but every time I mention what I’ve been up to, they note how unconventional I am. “Carrots aren’t started indoors,” one of them pointed out one day, and sure enough, my little carrotlings never seemed to grow right once I got them outside.
This year, I’ve had some surprise successes: a pile of cucumbers, zucchini, butternut squash, and tomatoes later, I’m quite satisfied with the level of intervention I had, but I’ve got mildewy squash leaves, pockmarked kale plants, and the most inpenetrable snarl of tomato vines. Still, I got myself together this year to embark on a new journey: fall plantings.
Last year, high on the experience of eating summer veggies that I grew myself, I let the whole garden run rampant during the September and October months; I continued to harvest a few tomatoes but mostly let everything go. This year, I’m modestly incorporating some spinach, new salad greens, and onions into some plots I ripped free of their summer foliage. I’ve got my first sproutlings, and it makes me happy to think that, while I don’t garden like everyone else, I am getting better every time I get to work on those beds.
What do you love most about what you are learning in the garden lately? I have really enjoyed harvesting kale and freezing it, so that it shatters and can be used easily in smoothies later on. I am not always the most diligent at preserving the foods I grow, so that one is very lovely to me.
Keep your eyes open for a recipe post soon on Tomato Zucchini soup and Butternut Squash mac and cheese, since these days I pretty much incorporate the garden produce into every meal. Delicious indeed.