Garden Update

Despite my best intentions at writing more consistently, nearly 3 months have passed since I've written any updates about my gardening endeavors.  Luckily, I'm diligent about taking photos of things to refer back to and recollect my thoughts.  If only I could get myself to be that diligent about the written word, eh?

Things were going really well with the garden.  By October, everything had been in the bed for about 2 months.  The arugula, Swiss chard, jicama, basil, jalapeno, and cherry tomato plants looked awesome!

cherry tomato (left), arugula (first row), Swiss chard (second row), marigold (center), basil (back left), jicama (last row)

The cherry tomato plants just kept getting taller and taller -- hitting the roof and flowering like crazy.    

This is definitely a good sign!

And within a week or so of the flowers appearing, all four plants were full of green tomatoes.  Yay!!

At this point I was patting myself on the back because I actually g-r-e-w something -- I really did it!  I thought this was all pretty exciting considering all of these grew from seeds I saved from table scraps. 

They changed from green to RIPE quickly which is good because I was way too excited to taste them.  I loooove tomatoes!! 

At the same time, the arugula and Swiss chard were really filling out.  I always buy arugula at the market and so I kept waiting for my leaves to grow as large as the store bought version.  But they'd get to a certain size and then wither within a week or so.  In a moment of sheer **ahem** brilliance, it occurred to me that perhaps the type of arugula I'm growing doesn't grow as large as the type that I buy.  So I decided to harvest it as it was and see what happened.



Apparently I was right.  They were not meant to be larger because after trimming all of the leaves off, they regrew.  Makes me wonder how many harvests I missed by waiting for them to get bigger.  Oh well, I'm learning.

I also trimmed up all the Swiss chard and to be honest, it tasted like earth.  I'm all for healthy greens, but they gotta taste good -- and my Swiss chard did not.  

Of course the next logical step was to combine the arugula and tomatoes (and lots of other yummy stuff) and make salad!  My favorite salad is a fine chopped mixture of arugula (check!), tomatoes (check!), raw broccoli, raw carrot, bell pepper, fresh made garbanzo and white beans, avocado, Swiss chard (that doesn't taste like dirt!), shredded red/green cabbage, and hemp seeds tossed with my homemade balsamic vinegar pear dressing.  Oh and I'm really treating myself right, it even has some goat's milk feta cheese from Rancho Avellanas.  DELISH!!

Oh. My. Gosh.  People, seriously, I cannot tell you how tasty these tomatoes were!  Sometimes cherry tomatoes can be on the sweet side, which is not my favorite, but these were just the right mix of sweet and tangy (more on the tangy side).  And the arugula (mouth is watering!) was so crisp, nutty and with just the right amount of that peppery taste.  The end result was definitely super encouraging!  Putting lots of love and energy into something and then having it give back to you in such a tasty way!  

At the same time, the rest of the garden was definitely on it's way to producing other goodies for us to eat.  The jicama leaves were creeping up the trellis reassuring me that somewhere deep below the soil a yummy, crispy root was forming.  The basil was getting larger and taller and was so fragrant you could smell it from outside the gated garden area.  The peppers were producing more leaves and tiny flowers.  I was feeling pretty optimistic about the whole garden thing and looking forward to planting my next batch of seeds.

But that's whole other post which I p-r-o-m-i-s-e to write in the next few days.  Promise.

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