Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July at the Garden

It was a hot, long day at the garden but since it was being reclaimed by the earth (slight exaggeration but everything was going to seed) it was time to get things back in order.

Here is what it looked like when we got there. All the tall stuff at the back of the picture is our lettuce that went to seed. The bottom left is what is left of our turnips after two new mystery beetles ate a good portion of the turnip greens. Picture of one is below. The other was smaller and blue and yellow. Both are yet to be identified.

Despite the fact that these beetles were everywhere, we still had a pretty good turnip haul. We were able to fill an entire orange bag! They ranged in size from the really small (where I did not thin the seedlings well enough) to the big mama-jamma like I'm holding in this picture. I have such a hard time thinning healthy plants, but I just have to keep reminding myself that its necessary in order to get big gems like this one.


We also got two parsnips (or yummy white gold as I like to think of them), but I left the rest in for a bit longer. I think any parsnip after the biggin will be a little disappointing but then again, that one was in the ground for almost 9 months.  I also planted a whole new parsnip bed where the turnips were. Hopefully the mystery beetles don't like parsnips : fingers crossed :

 And lastly, the tower o' lettuce. This is what Simpson's Elite looks like when it bolts.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Window Sill Herbs

Chervil gone wild! Our plant is taking over our window sill. Not even sure what to use it for aside from French cooking. You wouldn't know that it is difficult to propagate based on how ours is performing. Its in the carrot family, and it looks like the greenery from a carrot top. Tastes kind of like grass. Maybe it will taste better once it is dried. We'll try that and see what happens. 

We also have some Melissa Lemon Balm that is a water hog; it can drain an aqua globe in a couple of hours.  It supposedly can be very invasive in the garden, but it's been fairly happy in its pot. Makes a lovely tea for a sore throat. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June Harvests

Today's harvest: Yummy lettuce and some beautiful wax beans which I think are the best tasting bean. Last year we lost most of them to the evil Mexican bean beetle so this year we coated our plants in kaolin clay. Hopefully that will keep them at bay.

And of course we picked another 2 containers [9oz each] of raspberries! One went into another tart, and we still have one more for oatmeal. This is such a good problem to have: more raspberries than you know what to do with.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lettuce and Raspberries

It's been a long time since I've done a post. We have had a good haul of turnips and lettuce. We planted five kinds of lettuce: Simpson's Elite, Bibb, Romaine, Tennis Ball...can't remember the fifth. But either way they've tasted great! Our rhubarb on the other hand is not doing so well. The leaves are big but the stalks are still green and short. I think we are gonna have to move this in the fall to somewhere a bit shadier and roomier. It has been weeded since this picture :) ...And of course, a happy dog is a gardening must!

Here are pics of the other end of the garden (from two weeks ago). Our peas didn't do so hot this season. We were neglectful and didn't get them trained up the trellis properly. The only ones that really produced anything were the ones that started going rogue and using the fence for support. Not much going on in the tomato bed except the super tall onions (which will be the subject of its own post shortly). You can see our big raspberry bushes at the end and the side of the plot. I also planted chamomile in a new bed we scraped together with scrap wood and stuck in between a bed and the cold frame.

...and we have been harvesting so many raspberries we have had to find extra uses for them since adding them to the good ol' morning oatmeal isn't making a dent. Plus they are so fragile and go bad so quickly... no wonder they are obscenely expensive in the store. So in an effort to make a bigger dent we made a raspberry galette yesterday. The tart bubbled over a little but it tasted amazing!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Joys of Spring Gardening

Today was a gorgeous garden day. We planted our second Prime Jan blackberry purchased from Gardens Alive. There was a little mix up with our order and we ended up getting two so they just let us keep it. Good thing too because we planted the first one but then had several surprise frosts in succession right afterward. Number two had beautiful roots and will hopefully do well. The prime Jan is neat because it has been bred to bear fruit on first year canes.

Our rhubarb is in its second year and already looks stronger than last year. We did not harvest any shoots the first year to allow the plant time to establish a strong root system. Although we may have to move it this fall because it is growing so much it is getting too close to the end of the bed. Plus it is so close to our garden fence which gets covered in a wall of spearmint (from the neighbor's plot) that at the height of the summer the rhubarb doesn't get enough airflow.  We started with two crowns last year but they got so crowded that the they got the rust and we lost one and the other was in jeopardy for a while. You wouldn't know that now.

We also harvested some of our forgotten produce. These leeks that had been in the garden since last summer. The roots were enormous and we finally had to use a shovel to get them out. These were very neglegted plants. I put the seeds in the ground and never thinned or hilled them. They've gone through a whole winter and frost supposedly makes them taste sweeter but we might have had frost overkill. We'll see how they taste.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Seeds: They're Here

The 2011 seeds are starting to arrive and the beautiful! So far the Slo Bolt Cilantro, Catskill Brussels Sprouts, and Green Zebra and Cherokee Purple tomato seeds have arrived. We have never ordered from Baker Creek before so I'm interested to see how these seeds perform, particularly the cilantro. We had beautiful cilantro last year but it turned into woody little stalks in the blink of an eye.  

Usually we grow some tomatoes from seed and buy some seedlings but this year I'm trying to only use plants we grow. We fell in love with the Cherokee Purple last year. We bought a plant at a local nursery and it produced gorgeous fruit. We also bought lots of Green Zebras at the farmer's market last year so we figured we might as well grow some of those too. 

I also find it endearing that Baker Creek sends you a free gift. We got a pkt of "Love-in-a-Mist" flowers. 

And finally, I found the seed packet that produced the mega-parsnip in case anyone is interested

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Welcome to our blog. For those of you familiar with garden blogs, Parsnip.Love may not seem like an odd name. For the rest of you, let me explain why we chose it. Every so often you pull something out of the garden that makes you stand back and go "wow." This is sometimes followed 30 seconds later with the thought "This has to go on the internet." Last Saturday this happened to us. We pulled this 9 month old forgotten, behemoth of a parsnip out of the garden and we wanted to share it with the world. 

And anticipating that the next question would be "well, what did it taste like?" I can tell you it was sauteed with olive oil, honey, and cinnamon and it was tasty. Many thanks to Joan Gussow's book This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader for peaking my interest in parsnips!