Thursday, May 04, 2006

Garden Heroes!

In all my focus on swimming, I have forgotten to update you on the status of my ultra-super garden.

First of all, there is progress in the world of broccoli. If you look down into the center of the biggest of the plants, you can see the florets beginning to develop.


And my curry plant, installed last year, I believe, is thriving.

And because it has needed pruning, we're cooking with curry leaves a lot. You can use the leaves of this plant (which look but do not smell like rosemary) in a variety of Asian flavas. For instance, tonight the PP is doing a repeat on Indianish stir-fried shrimp with curry leaves and zesty tomato sauce. The sauce tastes almost nothing like tomato, because there is also cilantro, coconut milk, salt and sugar, garam masala and cumin in there. You add the curry leaves to the shrimp while it is stir-frying. Yummy!

I am not having such good luck with the arugula, which is supposed to be a cinch as long as you water it at least daily while it is very young. But you can see that mine has already gone to flower, although it has not really produced tasty leaves.

But this year the new, exciting addition to our salad days have been edible flowers. Here are some nasturtiums (nasturtia?) that we'll be able to eat in a day or so.

I'm sorry, but I did not get the camera out before we ate two of them last night. You can find an accurate photo here (perhaps those came from the same source as ours). There would have been more nasturtia, but some cold temps did most of the plants in one night; only 2 of the 6 sent up new shoots. The calendula are also doing well:

But be warned (and look closely at the center of the photo): there are little bugs that love to walk around and hang out among the petals and the center of the calendula. They are really really tiny, but you can see them when they boogying around your salad. The PP was a bit grossed out by that. Mind you, few things gross out the PP. He is, after all, a waste-water engineer, and is used to dealing with all many of nasty stuff. He does not cringe at cat-litter clean-up, cat puke removal, big scary bug eradication, etc. But the wee calendula dwellers did not make him want to eat his salad. So we removed the offending flower from his bowl and I ate it.

"Ugh!" he said. "Now you have bug mouth!" and he pointed out that no one wants to kiss a bug mouth. He also mentioned that the bugs would no doubt reproduce in my stomach, kind of like how cherry trees grow out of cherry pits. He would not explain to me how those cherry trees could do it with no source of light. But still: beware the little bugs.

We've enjoyed a bit of baby romaine lettuce, too, and I think we'll need to harvest some more at the baby stage, or else all our lettuce might reach maturity while we're in France.


Joe said...

> The sauce tastes almost nothing like tomato,
> because there is also cilantro, coconut milk, salt
> and sugar, garam masala and cumin in there.

Garam masala? Is that the stuff that Klingons use to season their fresh qagh? BTW, you honour the Klingon nation with your gardening prowess. Qapla!

estaminet said...

I love nasturtium flowers. My favorite farmer's market in Black Mountain NC last summer sold them and I'd eat them all in the car before I got home. Hooray weird food!

Anonymous said...

Gracious me--the flower bugs in the salad remind me of the time we ate a salad of chopped chinese cabbage from the garden. The salad was gone from the bowl--only half of a slug remained.