Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lookit! Lookit!

(71F today! Ahhhh...)
It was a beautiful day today, and the green babies thought so, too. The tall, lanky, hairy kids right in front are finocchio, growing fast. Also pictured are peppers, chard, kale, asian greens, bush beans, basil, tomatoes, and lettuce- the usual kitchen garden suspects. Off to the left in the orange trough is Vitamin Green- an asian green I've never tried. Yum. Dang, when do we eat??
The list might seem kind of ordinary, but here's the thing about growing your own food: You're not limited to ordinary supermarket varieties and you get some amazing tastes that you simply cannot buy. For instance, all of the lettuce I'm growing would turn into green slime if stuck in a box and shipped across the country like most of our lettuce now is. There are fewer than 20 varieties of lettuce that can handle the rigors of transport. One of the best homegrown varieties is called butterhead. It can barely be sold at farmer's markets- it just can't handle travel of more than a few feet from garden to plate.
Of course, these all have to be grown from seed... but waiting is the very heart of gardening.


Rabbits' Guy said...

Oh My! That stuff is soon going to take over. You will be hauling in a lot of dirt I suppose, for all those pots? Keep the history-photos coming.

ilex said...

I already hauled some dirt over the last few years, and I make a lot of my own by composting the buns' used litter. The worms make dirt, too, by eating the buns' poop. I'm awash in dirt. It's good dirt, too.

Some of those seedlings are giveaways- friends and family whom I'm trying to transform into backyard farmers!

lamarguerite said...

You are making me so hungry for fresh lettuce . . . I have been saying for weeks I am going to plant the things. That's it, you were the final nudge I needed. I am heading off to the farmer's market this weekend, to buy some baby lettuces to plant.

I love the earthiness from your site. A much needed balance to my overworking mind!

ilex said...

Marguerite, that's fabulous. Do try to get some lettuce seeds, too- lettuce is the easiest thing of all to grow and you can make early salads of the thinnings, so there's really no danger of overplanting! Just sprinkle the seeds in amongst the baby lettuces. Thompson and Morgan is distributing Italian varieties of lettuce in garden stores now- the seeds packets are very generous and the varieties impressive. My favorite so far is (in the Italian manner if naming) "Lattuga Rossa A Foglia Riccia Da Taglio". It's a gorgeous leaf lettuce, dusty mauve and green. I've tried a bit and it's divine.

I'm flattered you like it in here, thanks so much. I love your blog.

The Barber Bunch said...

I am debating on trying to grow tomatos again this year or not. I haven't had very much luck with it so far. I might just support my local growers at the Farmers Market while I educate myself more.

Spring has Sprung!

ilex said...

Maybe consider a tomato in a really big pot? You have more control over the soil that way, and soil is really important for tomatoes. A good potting mix is fairly foolproof, and the organic ones are great these days. Make sure you get potting MIX, though- potting soil is too dense. Adding tomato fertilizer will fill in the nutrient blanks.

I'm forever pushing people to grow food... it's my fatal flaw, sorry...

L.Bo Marie said...

lol... push us more ;)

my green babies made it outside today... it was SO nice out, I think it might still be warmer out there than in the house tonight. I went looking for butterhead seeds today, just to give them a try, I've got spinach, and two variety packs of baby leaf on the go right now... there's always room for more lettuce.

A neighbour was telling me the other day that there's an heirloom tomato grower (with a ton of variety) nearby... I might have to go on a road trip this week!

ilex said...

Roadtrip, Roadtrip! Wow, what a great reason for a roadtrip... best reason I've heard in a long time.