Thursday, March 02, 2006

It's Gardening Time Again!

Hi Everybody! I'm excited to say that I seeded two long-bed pots today. One with "organic baby field green"-type lettuce (arugula and mache) and the other with parsley. It's not warm but the lettuce should germinate soon anyway. Gabriel suggested that we grow only things that we can eat before we go to Greece in August so that we don't have to worry about watering while on vacation. Problem is all I can think of that fits that bill is lettuce. I want poblano peppers and tomatillos! So once again we find ourselves with the (I know, very enviable by American standards!) dilemma of how to get our garden taken care of while we're on vacation for 3 weeks. I'm going to plunge ahead and plant all kinds of things for the balcony victory garden and figure out what to do about the vacation watering later. Aside from the parsley and lettuces, we'll have basil and cilantro (both from a Chia Pet Herb Garden kit I got for Christmas one year), dinosaur kale (the darkest green I've ever seen!), a "cuor di bue tomato" (the best Italy offers, i.e the best the world offers!), some leaf celery (an herb that tastes like celery but looks like parsley which is why I accidentally bought it in the first place), and the aforementioned tomatillos and poblano peppers that come from the heirloom company "Seed Savers" in Decorah, IA.

Last year, our garden dilemma was mostly solved when the one tomatillo plant to survive germination and incubation keeled over and I realized the beautiful, sturdy pepper plants full of flowers, NEVER bore any fruit! The flowers would just drop off. So, I hacked all the pepper plants into bits and stuffed them into the compost bin, handed the herb pots over to the kind and generous Paola and skipped off to Greece. This year, though, I have a plan: Ahna, an expert gardener from Minnesota and a friend of mine suggested I pollinate the flowers, you know pull one flower off and rub its stamens onto the stamens of the other flowers. That's what I'll try this year. For the tomatillos, I don't know yet. I wonder if Seed Savers does consultations.


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