Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Microgreens and other garden wonders

Josh planted a round of veggies in February, when we had a warm spell. They have been growing very slowly since then. The slow growth and small pickings have made me realize a few things:
1. The supermarket has seriously distorted my (our? American?) view of normal size. When I let my radishes get to the size I think they should be, their insides are dust. It's odd. If you slice through the middle, it looks like a snowflake ... and kind of tastes like one too. I picked a bunch of small ones, partly to thin the row and partly to test, and guess what. They were great - piquant radish is one of the best flavors, isn't it? My father taught me to love radishes. The fun thing about picking them so small is that you can eat the greens and all.
2. Microgreens is a racket! Oh, I thought they were so cute and I dutifully paid $10/lb. when I wanted to make the exact salad I saw in Bon Appetit. But now that I have grown my own, I will no longer be duped. I wanted to show you a salad I made almost entirely of microgreens from my garden, but iPhoto, once again, is making my blogging life impossible. Picture, if you will, eensy-weensy beet greens, fennel, radishes, and kale, combined with almost normal size arugula. That was one awesome salad.
3. You must thin mercilessly. Sounds like advice given to a newly arrived wanna be movie star from Iowa. I have been worried that I will somehow choose the wrong sprout to represent its kind in the bed o' produce. This season I have changed my practice and go in, head down, pluck pluck plucking so that the ones left have enough room. That's the point, right? Right. Otherwise I sow nothing. Or only microgreens, I guess.
4. Fertilizer is your friend. Our stuff is growing seriously slow and small. I think I need to just fertilize. I was thinking that it's like giving your plants bovine growth hormone, which is wrong and gross. But maybe it's more like creatine powder, which does help you bulk faster, but is still okay for your body, soooooo.

5. Growing your own food is exciting. It has only been twice now that I have planted veggies and both times I thought, as I dropped seeds into the ground, No way is this going to grow. Who do I think I am? And then it totally grows so much that you have to thin! Seeds are so cool, man. Maybe I can plant one of my rock hard kiwis and grow my own tree. This isn't Mediterranean climate, like I think they are used to in New Zealand, but maybe I can get away with it. Hm.

I also need a fig tree.

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