Friday, June 20, 2008

Frilly Lunch from the Garden

What a difference ten days makes. Just ten days ago that I was worried about my pea tips burning. I wondered if they would ever set peas after being brutalized by the heat. Well they are going crazy. Our last week has had the quintessential New England June weather: highs of 70s; lows in the 50s; occasional rain. So the peas have responded in kind. I'm picking a bowl of snowpeas every couple of days. Yum. I really don't need that many peas. I use them as additions to meals, not alone. I sprinkle them in salads and put them in stirfrys.

Finding the peas however is a challenge. They are growing so close together that they get lost in the foliage. Sometimes I don't find the peas until they start to swell. My daughter tried shelling some since she loves English peas. She says they are sour and not all that good.

I planted a second sowing of peas several weeks after the first. Now those peas have started to flower. I wondered how long it would take between one flowering and the next. They were sown about 3-4 weeks apart, but have flowered only 12 days apart. It seems they made up for half of the time.

My Asian greens are also enjoying the moderate weather. I picked another Fun Jen today (frilly boc choi above), and not much is left in the older plantings of greens (below). I have one Fun Jen, three Chinese cabbage that I'm hoping form heads before they bolt, and three mizuna, which keep producing and producing. I have mizuna in all of my salads. I think next year I only need two plants. The tatsoi is long gone and the mustard died a horrible death at just 2" tall. I also have a beer trap for the slugs, but sadly my slugs are tea totalers. Ok so the real problem I think is that the rim of my dish is to sharp and they don't like to cross it. I'm going to try another dish tonight.

However that will not be the end of the greens. Succession planting continues. Every two to three weeks I sow a 12 pack of greens inside and plant them outside a couple of weeks later. Well some of them, I never have room for them all. A few days ago I planted out a set and they are doing really well. I have two of the following Fun Jen (the bright green plants), Giant Red Mustard (top right), arugula (middle right), boc choi (left, real ones not the frilly stuff), and one tatsoi (far left middle). Since last time they were too close together and I planted them four across in the 4' bed, this time they are three across with equal spacing between the plants in the other direction. I also didn't plant any Chinese cabbage. I figured they take up so much more space than the other greens. Also the hot weather is coming and they may bolt before they head. The space is better off with quicker greens right now. I'll plant them again later in the season.

Since I picked a slug free Fun Jen (did you notice, no holes this time, just chance, no credit to me), snowpeas, and zucchini, I'm thinking Chinese salad for lunch. Lunch has really become whatever I pick in the garden. That is not to say I don't eat it for dinner too, but lunch is mostly garden fare. My CSA food will have to sit in the fridge for a while since garden fare trumps CSA. Though I did eat the collard greens for dinner last night. They weren't bad. I don't hate them, but then again they were nothing to write home about (just blog about). I probably won't ever grow them.


  1. Hi Daphne! Thanks for visiting my blog. I see you grow a lot of vegetable well - that was how I began to garden when I was 5. I learned how to grow many things from seed, but I always loved the flowers most. Today I have - far too many ornamentals, but I do grow Succinis, beetroots, and herbs like mints, chives, thymes and dill. I grow the herbs among the roses, since I use organic spray or nospray where they grow.
    you are lucky not to have that horrible slug we have over here in Europe! It has made any sort of vegetable gardening quite difficult. So no holes would be a miracle here. Your vegetable look delicious - nothing really beats the taste of organic homegrown veggies. Its like those in the supermarket have no taste anymore.

  2. Slugs can be such a pain. Luckily in here in the NE US they aren't impossible, they just get bad at times. Of course if we have one of those wet years it will be a slug fest.