The Backyard

The Backyard

Monday, May 19, 2008

Garden Pics and Greens

I have the night off from training (well... I was supposed to do an ez swim and ez bike, but I bagged both) and I just made Rick keep the TV off for a change so I can get a nice post up about the garden. Spring is SO busy with biking, gardening, training, mowing, weeding, biking, gardening...oh I already said those two. You get the picture. I've been kinda chilibloggin more than backyardchilibloggin, so its time for the backyard to get a little notoriety. First up - the GREENS. Fresh and organic. I managed to find organic seed for all kinds of greens this year. I have spicy greens, mesclun spring mix, and of course my fav, good ole spinach. They'll be fresh up until maybe December if I'm lucky (yes, you can grow greens for 3 seasons). I figure with a $5 investment in the seeds, over about 8 months, I'll save us maybe $160 dollars...maybe more. If you get the sale "bags" of organic greens at Giant, it'll run you 2/$5. Do that over 8 months and that's $160. But the best part is I know where my seed came from, I know what's in the soil, and I know the greens are nothing but fresh and totally Monsanto chemical free. I LUV my garden. The broccoli isn't quite as much a bargain, but 24 plants will produce 24 heads -- maybe a $40 dollar savings there. But again, its organic. This weekend the seeds are going in the ground for romaine lettuce, butternut squash, zucchini (boy will I have zucchini), and a bunch of seeds for wildlife - nasturtium (bees), sunflowers, and candy-striped zinnias (butterflies) fennel and dill. And I found some volunteer cherry tomatoes that are coming up from last year's leftovers that didn't get picked up when frost came. Niiicccee.. There's another buck saved for the plant, and probably about $100 for the maters. I picked up a small box of cherry tomatoes the other week and they were $4! They went back. We can do without.

This is an interesting perenniel -- egyptian onions, or "walking onions." The tops are starting to form the small onion bulblets, which will fall to the ground from the weight, and sprout new plants from each bulb. What's cool about this plant is its an edible, perenniel onion! They are small, but have a nice mild flavor and are there all the time. I made a lovely greens soup this weekend with the onions and chives -- its was delightful.

And this is simply a shot of the herb garden. Not a whole lot to see as I haven't really done much to it but weed it and keep plants from growing into each other since I started biking 7 years ago. When it first went in, there were bitter herbs, edible herbs, aromatic herbs, ornamental herbs and gourmet herbs of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Many are gone, but many still thrive. My favorites are the greek oregano (it HAS to be greek...the flavor of fresh oregano is unreal), french thyme (did you know there are over 30 flavors of thyme? French is the best for drying and cooking), of course my egyptian onions, and and I really like growing bronze fennel. I don't eat it, but grow if for bugs. Praying mantis seem to thrive in fennel, and the umbrels are great attractors for tachnid flies, one of many benefical insects you want in your organic garden to keep the great hornworm from devouring all your tomato plants.

And that's Lula...she loves striking a pose. Fierce I tell you, fierce.
Next up, the show is about to begin -- Antique Roses. Every year from Memorial day to Mid or late June, the roses strut their stuff. And for those that never saw or heard of an antique rose, you are in for a treat! The modern rose ain't got nuthin on a vintage rose.


DailySAHM said...

I have a cherry tomato plant you can have. I ended up with 3 of them, but only have room for 2... the tomato plants were one of the few things that have survived. Also, my hubby brought your bag of green goodies into work today to give to your hubby.

The Wiser Weiser said... are amazing! you are my garden hero!! ;)