Flowers

Flowers

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Bloomin' Veggie Garden

I really love this time of the year. Every day brings new things to plant.. yesterday, I had a few hours to toil in the garden and managed to dig under a deep layer of aged manure (oxen poop this year!) and plant 15 assorted tomatoes (just the tip of the iceberg!), 4 more ten-foot long rows of peas (super sugar snap), about a dozen types of lettuce, banana potatoes, celery, onions and more.

And, as I worked, I was serenaded by the lovely buzzing of the bees and pollinating insects who were going crazy in the leftover clumps of kale/mizuna/mustards/tatsoi/mache from last winter that I allowed to flower.  The main reason that I leave these plants in the garden when they are past their eating prime is so that they early bees and other pollinators have something to sustain them if no other sources of pollen are available. I didn't get a chance to take any photos yesterday, so I just wandered up to the garden now (deadlines be damned!) to take a few photos (with my iPhone, hence the occasionally blurry image). Aren't these gorgeous?? Plus, they make nice cut flowers on the windowsill..

A 5 foot by 4 foot clump of mizuna and mustard in full bloom!

Look close.. do you see the hardworking little guy mid-photo?

Another pollinator on the top right hand side..

Red Russian kale in full bloom. Love the purple stems, green leaves and bright yellow flowers.

Red Russian kale - the immature buds are eaten like broccoli. Yum!

Here's a photo of one of the immature buds. Enjoy raw or steam/stir-fry as you would broccoli.

Mache is also in bloom. I will let a few plants go to seed and sprinkle them everywhere for a bumper crop of mache next fall/winter.

Redbor kale.. sorry for the blurry buds, I tried to get a clear shot! Gorgeous colour.. spinach in behind.

On a completely unrelated note, Alice at Ouest-Ville Perennials gave me this handy Dartmouth-made tote
a few weeks ago when I went down to West Pubnico and  lectured on year round veggie gardening. Locally made and
incredibly handy (we really gave it quite the workout the past few days). I have to say that I'm very impressed!  Here's a link if you're interested - Veggie Harvester Bag

7 comments:

  1. I let my mache go to seed, and while the flowers were pretty, the fading flowers/seeds have a revolting stench! I think I'll just buy the seeds next time.

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    1. That's so interesting.. I have never noticed this.. have you tried it more than once? Are you sure it was the mache? I've been doing this for years and never have encountered this.. I'll have to give them a sniff I guess! :)

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    2. Let me know what you encounter--especially when the seeds have formed. It was definitely centered on the mache plants--though for a couple days I thought some neighborhood cats had been using the bed as a litter box.

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  2. The immature kale buds sound delish! Can they also be eaten when they've flowered?

    I'm always on the lookout for more unusual food possibilities like that in case you have more suggestions. I only recently learned that radish green can be sautéed. Have you tried that?

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    1. Hey Melissa.. so nice to hear from you. Yes, the yellow flowers can be eaten - just sprinkle them on salads or stir-fries and enjoy! I love radish leaves, but we eat them raw.. so good.. very arugula-like. If some radishes bolt, we also eat the seedpods, which are delish!

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  3. I always learn so much from your blog posts, Niki!

    Thank you!

    edie

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    1. Thanks Edie.. you're so sweet!! I love your blog and your recipes - http://www.nutritioncoachedie.com/category/blog

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Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome your tips, questions, thoughts and ideas (and suggestions for new veggies to grow!)