Black Annis (annis39) wrote,
Black Annis

To Begin: Cataloging the Garden

Our garden is turning into one of the focal points of my summers. Last year, we got enough string beans from one 2.5 x 3 foot plot to last us through the winter-- in the end it was about 3 gallon freezer-bags worth; they were supplemented by about 1.5 gallons of shelled peas and about 2 gallons of corn, both picked up fresh from the Public Market ( In addition to all the beans, we also had tomatoes, mostly eaten fresh, bell peppers, salad greens, snap peas, dry beans, and lots of herbs. This year, amazingly, we've actually expanded the range of plants. As of now, this is what's growing:
  • tomatoes, 4 varieties:
    • Whippersnapper (pink cherry tomato)
    • Sweet Olive (grape tomato)
    • Bellstar (paste/canning tomato)
    • Muscovich (Russian heirloom eating tomato)

  • Peppers, 2 varieties, one bell (Red Knight, I think) and one hot
  • Painted Mountain corn which is a multicolor parching/grinding corn. I'm not sure if we'll actually get any corn before the first frost, as I've been fighting with the bushy-ass tree-rats (aka squirrels) to keep the corn alive . . . I've replanted twice now, and whenever it gets to a decent height, the little bastards descend on it, chew the stalks off at the bottom, and dig up the roots. Currently the soil around the corn and the bases of the stalks are covered in super-hot cayenne pepper, which seems to be doing the trick.
  • Royal Burgundy Bush Beans, a type of stringless string bean; it's purple, which is lovely, but it doesn't seem to produce as well as the Purple Teepee bush beans I had the past couple of years. It could just be in a bad spot, however, as it's in the shadier back bed this time.
  • Snap peas, which are winding down now.
  • Strawberries, done for the season.
  • Husk cherries, a strange plant that looks like a non-thorny version of the ground cherries back in Virginia, but is apparently related to tomatoes and tomatillos. Its fruit grows in a husk, like a tomatillo, and apparently is going to taste sweet and fruity. I'm looking forward to this one.
  • Corn salad or maché, a type of salad green
  • Saltwort, an interesting, crunch Japanese salad green
  • Mizuna, an Asian salad green (a brassica, so related to broccoli, cabbage, rapini, etc.)
  • Tatsoi, another Asian salad green
  • Russian Red leaf kale
  • Spinach, now bolted and gone, but more will go in in August
  • And the herbs: rosemary, two varieties of mint, tarragon, basil, dill, oregano, thyme, parsley (on year two and gone to seed), sage, two varieties of lavender, hops, chamomile, floxglove, and feverfew.

I think that's it for the garden. . . looking at the list, I'm rather agog that we've managed to fit all that on our little plot. Most of it is within the 80-some square feet of raised beds in the back yard or in planters on the small back deck, though the hops and some of the herbs are in the front, more decorative flower bed. And it's not counting the random wild stuff that I've occasionally pulled up out of the garden as weeds as well as eat them, such as lamb's quarters, sorrel, and native black raspberries. All that on less than a quarter acre, and on a city plot that's been a city plot for nearly 100 years.

Now if only we were allowed to have chickens in the city . . .
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