Eating from the Garden

Mesculn Mix

Beginning last week, I’ve been able to serve at least one thing from the vegetable garden every night at dinner.   Peas, Swiss chard,  lettuce, cilantro,radish,  more peas, chives, carrots, strawberries, and, of course, peas.  I munch as I water and weed, and feel that for a moment, here at least, all is right with the world.  Like so many gardeners everywhere, I await the taste of my first tomato, but since my plants are no more than three inches high, I have awhile to wait. 

Purslane

Every year I have a bumper crop of purslane growing as a weed in my beds, and this year is no different.  However, I’ve read where purslane has more Omega-3 fatty acids than many fish, something we vegetarians should be aware of.  Originally from India, and supposedly Ghandi’s favorite food, this succulent member of the Portulaca family offers other nutritional benefits as well.  See http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/purslane.html .  If uprooted and left on the soil, the plant uses its stored liquids to produce seed and scatter them.  “So there!” it says.  I must admit that the thick leaves and stems are off-putting for me texture-wise, but I’ve begun to snap off young stems and include them with the lettuce I’m harvesting.  I’ll have to be bold and find better uses for it in my kitchen.  After all, its free!

Purslane

 I created two new raised beds, lined with aviary wire (which is a devil to work with.  I have scratches all over.)

New raised beds

I still have two more raised bed kits, which I bought last Fall in a clearance sale.  I’ve leveled them, placed cardboard on the ground to deter weeds (especially the dreaded Bermuda grass!), used a staple gun to attach aviary wire across the bottom and up the insides a little, then filled with topsoil and very wormy mushroom compost, then watered it all in.  I still have to add more good soil, then I’ll mix in some Garden’s Alive non-animal organic vegetable fertilizer and some microbes, just to start the beds off right.

Seed Sprouting

These beds will be for the vining plants such as squash, pumpkin and melons.  There is room for vines outside the beds.  Already I have the seeds sprouted and awaiting transplanting, but that won’t happen until early next week.

Roger and his crew hauled over prunings from grape growers, and have used them to sparkle up the trellises to wonderful effect.

Grape vines on trellises

I think they add a wonderful ethereal look to the structures.

Viney trellis

As far as the ponds go, contouring is slowly being done and we all await the coming of the pump on Monday.  I will not be blogging for the next few days because I will be attending the Southern California Permaculture Convergence in Malibu http://www.socalconvergence.org/ , and as I will be sleeping in a bunkhouse at Camp Hess, I’m thinking that bringing my laptop would be a bad idea.  I’ll take photos and be excited to share what I’ve learned with you when I return.   Have a wonderful weekend!

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