Friday, August 28, 2009

Our August Gardens

Mini Garden report:

The garden manager posted a sign warning trespassers not to try stealing our veggies. $100 fine, it says, if you get caught. No such surveillance camera, of course, exists. You can tell that immediately just by looking. It's just a little wooden shed with some garden tools inside.

So few people signed up for a garden this year that a tract of land that would have supported six more gardens was left completely fallow. Of the 11 plots that were assigned, three have already been abandoned. The owners planted and never came back.

Andre, who has a corner plot, planted only onions and cucumbers. Hundreds of onions, and he ate every one of them, raked the soil, and planted more.

This was the first year I've tried growing radishes. They came out fine but tasted different from the ones I usually like--the only adjective that comes to mind to describe it is: too "boingy". Some tomato leaves turned yellow, looked blotchy & dried up. Some tomatoes are still tiny, rock hard, and green. Not nearly the crop that I produced last year, with half the effort. We've had so much rain this summer, and this was my first garden in a new terrain.

The peppers are coming along nicely. Wish I had planted more of them. My garden produced exactly three cucumbers so far. One was over a foot and a half long. When I showed it to Andre, he laughed. Said it might not taste as good as it looks. If cukes could talk, I imagine it'd say: "I'm too special to eat. You should stuff and mount me, put me on display. People would marvel." When pigs fly, Cucumber, ha ha.

This is my Brazilian friend Antonia's garden scarecrow. -->
An imposing presence wearing her husband's workshirt and a baseball cap. To tell the truth, he looks too kindly to be much of a real threat to anyone. He is over six feet tall and no wind has yet blown him down, a testiment to his stalwartness.

The beets and carrots are growing well. They like the cooller weather and will still be around after many of their companion veggies have long been picked and eaten. Ate some beet greens in a stir fry with onions and tofu the other day. Yum.

These are not my cabbages at the right. They belong to the plot adjacent to mine and seem to get bigger every day.

The green beans came and went. Ate some. Froze some. I didn't do yellow beans this season. Or eggplants. Or lettuce.

I definitely planted too much chard: 3 rows, with dozens of plants. What was I thinking?! No chance anyone will steal it -- most people I offered it to don't know what it is, or what to do with it. It doesn't often appear in our supermarkets, and even more rarely, kale. Which is surprising because it's so easy to grow. Perhaps it's an acquired taste. I had never eaten it before moving to Vermont.
Filled two large bags full twice in 3 days and I didn't even make a dent, it seems. Chard, anyone? Anyone? I can't even GIVE it away! ha ha.

The weeds in these plots were horrendous the first several weeks.
The soil there is different from that of my home garden--more sandy. Next year I'm only taking one plot instead of two. They're so large it's like having a mini-farm.

The cappucines did me proud this year. The cosmos are only just blooming. The marigolds sit, like bold little sentinels, at the base of each tomato plant, to ward off certain insects with their pungent aroma.

That's it for Summer 2009 at the "Garden of Friends" community garden at our quartier. I hope more people sign up next year. It's so ridiculously inexpensive--a mere $10.00 a year, and all the support and free tools you need. Now if only the weather would cooperate more, what great little crops we could all produce.

Am already planning for next year!

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