Sunday, April 22, 2012

Garden update for Earth Day!

I spent a few hours working in the garden today because the weather was perfect for it. Mostly doing upkeep work, but I did harvest a few things.

The pile of leaves on the left is lemon balm, to dry and make tea from. The long green branches up top are rosemary. There is one large-ish Black Beauty eggplant, 4 Ichiban eggplants, and one mature along with one baby "ghost white" eggplant (which coincidentally makes fruit that look exactly like an egg).

Above is a close-up of the Black Beauty eggplant. They can grow a good bit bigger than this, but this is about as large as I like to let them grow, this way they don't have all that many seeds and aren't bitter. I prefer the taste and texture of less mature eggplants, that's why I pick the Ichiban when they're still small. I like to slice them down the center, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, roast them, and eat them skin and all.

Everything else is doing okay. I've got loads of baby Husky Cherry Red tomatoes, and quite a few Yummy peppers. The other tomato and pepper plants aren't getting quite as much sunshine, so they're lagging a little. Green beans, melons, and cucumber plants are growing well and on schedule. Herbs are doing well too. I planted several eggplant plants that make tiny eggplants, and they're starting to grow and will probably make some fruit by the end of Summer. Herbs are doing well, basil seeds are sprouting, and it looks like I'll have all 18 little starter pots to transplant into 6 long windowbox type containers in a month or so. That many because it's a small bushy variety of basil I can plant 3 plants to a container. I want to make some pesto this year, but will need a lot of basil at once. The seed pack said that this variety "Fino Verde" is good for pesto. It's either the same thing or very closely related to Spicy Globe basil, which has a really amazing flavor, I personally prefer over good old sweet basil.

I got to harvest the first of my blueberries, can't remember which variety though. I've had five ripe berries so far, and it looks like there will be a handful ripening over the coming week. There aren't all that many this year, but the plants are young, so it'll be a while before a full harvest.

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