Jul 5

2011

Community Garden: Shades of Green

A little over three weeks ago, I put my first plants into my new community garden plot. The little seedlings looked small and feeble outside the comfort of their little black plastic starting trays, so all I could do was cross my fingers, water daily, and hope they’d survive.

And survive they have. My little plot is now blossoming into dozens of shades of green. Tiny, pale green orbs have appeared on my adolescent tomato plants. Deep green leaves rimmed in violet are bursting daily from my stems of okra. Anaheim peppers, jalapeƱos, cucumbers, and parsley are about to reach their harvest points. The basil is growing so quickly I’ve already harvested enough for three batches of pesto (recipe coming soon, promise). And remember the leeeetle baby sunflower sprouts?

I’m excited. And so much more is on the way.

Zucchini, for example.

Best thing I’ve learned so far: if you are thinking of starting a garden and are feeling a little insecure about it, plant a zucchini.

O. M. G.

The rest of the garden is also doing pretty well, but the zucchini is the real confidence builder. It took a few days for this guy to get its footing, but man, once it did, zooooooom. It’s a jungle.

As consumers, we often see fruits and vegetables only in gleaming, multi-colored rows on grocery store shelves or in little blue cartons at the farmers market. It’s exciting to meet the green leafy plants that make that bounty possible.

 

4 Comments

  1. Suzy says:

    Beautiful! Next year, when I am retired, I am going to grow things! You inspire me!

  2. Megan says:

    Question, I have a small herb pot in my window, and the basil is getting ready to bloom. Should I let it? Or should I trim off the part with the flower buds. I want it to keep growing…and I know nothing about herb life cycles. Perhaps I should look into this before I teach biology :)

    Thanks!

    1. Kristi @ 30 Pounds of Apples says:

      That’s an excellent question, one to which I only recently learned the answer. If you want your basil plant to continue growing and producing leaves, you should harvest pieces of it before it fully blooms. The tell-tale sign is the little spiky mound of pale green at the top of a stem. Simply clip the basil anywhere along the stem. New shoots will continue to grow around the area where you snip. You can also harvest large single leaves at any time, but you definitely want to harvest those almost-flowering shoots. A good rule of thumb is to never harvest more than half of the leaves on the plant. Your basil should continue to develop shoots and will become a wider plant rather than a tall one. Does that make sense? I’m hoping to post a basil-harvesting tutorial soon with pictures, but it sounds like your basil is definitely ready for a first harvest! Let me know if this was unclear :)

  3. Brad says:

    It’s soo pretty! Isn’t it magical!?

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