Last of the summer crop

I harvested most of the veggies from the garden, so that I can start pulling out the plants and slowly lay the garden to rest. Here is my stash

Has anyone seen red eggplants?

I don’t remember where I got this beauty from- maybe my gardening pal Carol gave it to me.

Passion fruit and night shade

Solanum Nigrum- American Nightshade

I saw this plant growing wild in the community garden- there were little green berries with a few ripe black ones. I popped a few in my mouth- took me right back to India. Growing up, as a little girl, i remember eating these berries in my grandparent’s village farmyard. Here is a link http://www.eattheweeds.com/american-nightshade-a-much-maligned-edible/

I am going to throw those leaves into my soup tomorrow-hope i live

passion fruit

After weeding the garden, as I was walking out, noticed this beauty on the perimeter fence- guess what ! That is a beautiful passion fruit plant, growing all on its own merit- maybe germinated from a bird dropping. I am going to watch the progress of this lovely for sure.

Happy Place

I thought I will post some random pictures from my garden- so here goes

A bunch of school children visited the community garden- I was so pleased that these little kids are learning about the connection between this earth and our food, between plants and pollinators, and how to be good stewards of this green planet. This little girl was thrilled to pull out a beet from my garden.

Beautiful butterflies visited the Zinnias in my garden-how can you not be happy in the presence of butterflies?

Tomatillos

tomatillos

This is the first time I am growing tomatillos in my garden. I have three of these plants and they are growing healthy and strong, with many budding flowers. Isn’t that beautiful, like a green paper lantern?

Tomatillos were originally from Mexico and is familiar to many of us as an ingredient of salsa verde. Once the fruit fills the papery husk, it is ready to be plucked. Can’t wait!

Beets

organic Beets

I finally harvested a bunch of beautiful Beets – we had a lunch of roasted Beet and Peach salad with a home made dressing of orange juice, lemon rinds and some thyme from my container garden. I read in the Farmer’s Almanac that I can do a succession planting of Beets, as long as the temp doesn’t shoot above 75 degrees. So I am thinking that if I plant some more Beet seeds end of August, I can harvest mid October, another round of these fine looking veggies.

Tomatoes

Indian tomatoes

I bought this plant from a friend of mine, who is trying to grow heirloom tomatoes from India. So excited to see a few tomatoes popping up.

I put a mixture of dried eggshells and used coffee grounds, on the soil around the plant, to provide calcium and to gently acidify the soil.

Coriandrum Sativum

cilantro

Even though I have grown and cooked with cilantro all my adult life, I have never seen the seedpods hanging fresh off the stem. The plants, despite my best efforts grew leggy, developed feathery leaves and started flowering. Instead of pinching off the flowers to promote more leafy growth I left the flowers be – they are supposed to attract hoverflies which eats the harmful aphids which are a common garden pest. In fact I read on Wikipedia that USDA is experimenting with cilantro companion planting for lettuce in California, to protect their crops against aphid invasion.

So, here is a picture of my summer garden- the flowering cilantro in front, with tomato and tomatillo in cages, with marigold companion plants, behind them.

On the side is the beet patch, which I am hoping to harvest next week.

Spinach

Did you know that spinach originated from Iran? Spinach is a nutrient powerhouse- not a nuclear powerhouse

spinach

I planted these spinach plants about 6 weeks ago- now they are ready to go into my spinach/dal recipe. You can see the tiny flowers along the stem-time to harvest.

Spinach is rich in Vit A and C, and has insoluble fiber. It also has Iron, which not many plants have.

Here is my harvest for today-spinach, more lettuce and early beans.

Beets

I planted 3 rows of 6 Beet plants about six weeks ago. With the constant rains, the plants came up nice and healthy, but with them the weesds were thriving too. I have been scrupulously weeding the Beet patch.

You can see the Beet enlarging under that beautiful plant.

The good thing about Beets is that you can eat the greens as well as the actual Beet.

Beet greens are rich in Vit A and of course Folate.

Beets themselves are a powerhouse of nutrients- Vit C , nitrates to lower your BP, and anti-oxidants. Looking forward tom a Beet and Feta salad soon.