The last week of September, I gathered my first harvest!!
What a joy it was to pick, and taste, the product of my hard work and efforts.
To an experienced gardener, my crop might look like a failure. But, as I told a friend at the outset, I considered the first planting an experiment.
I’ve practiced a habit in my life of looking at every new thing I try, as black or white, either a success or a failure. If gardening has taught me anything thus far, it’s trained me to change that way of seeing. Instead, I’ve come to realize that failure is often the path to success. When a scientist does an experiment, there can be all kinds of results. It’s considered a learning experience. And, I plan to learn a lot from my garden.
I planted several types of lettuce, kale, swiss chard, spinach, Asian greens, beets, carrots, radishes, as well as, pick-and-come-again baby mustards. A typical fall garden.
None of the lettuce germinated at all. I believe the ground was still too warm for lettuce, which I’ve since learned, needs a cooler soil for germination. I got only a few scraggly kale, swiss chard, and spinach plants. I left them in the ground to see if they might perk up and grow larger. If not, I’ll till them under, and they will become compost for my next planting. There were quite a few carrots or at least small carrot sprouts that emerged from the soil, which I haven’t pulled yet. I’ll soon see if there are edible orange roots beneath the puny tops. The beets did not germinate. I got exactly two Asian greens; one smallish Tatsoi plant and a massive Pak Choy that filled a grocery bag all by itself.
What grew best; French Breakfast Radishes and the lovely mustards with their assortment of colors and textures. I’ve picked the baby greens twice already and will pick again tomorrow. From one tiny patch, less than 50 seeds, I’m still harvesting. Each time I’ve filled a grocery bag with the greens. They are so incredibly delicious and tender. I have only one problem with them, some of their leaves mysteriously go missing before I can get them home!
Here is a photo of the baby mustard greens growing in the garden:
And here is a shot of the radishes and greens after I washed them at home!
Those are beautiful, and enticing enough to make the centerfold of a seed catalog! Don’t you agree?
I used the lovely Pak Choy in a stir-fry. The mustards have been eaten raw in salads, combined with radish leaves (Yes, you can eat radish leaves. Who knew?) in stir-frys and green smoothies.
I used the beautiful radishes for breakfast, and snacks, pairing them with goat’s cheese or dipped in a delicious salad-dressing-thick, cherry wood aged balsamic vinegar. A few made it into salads. Unfortunately, the radishes are all gone as I only planted one small section of them. Amazingly, I never cared for radishes before. But, I had never had any this fresh, or that I had grown myself, and what a difference that makes. Not only are locally grown organic vegetables healthier, but they also taste a thousand times better than store-bought.
So, I’ve a ways to go, but I’m on the path to success. My experimentation with gardening has already taught me a few things, given me incredible tasty and life-giving food, but most of all has made me want to grow more and more and more! Especially, radishes, baby mustards, and Pak Choy, not only for myself but enough to share with others.
Coming up; I’ll soon be planting garlic!
’til next time,