Tuesday, May 11, 2010

In the May Garden

chives
Some random tidbits from around the garden...The overwintered chives are flowering. Has anyone eaten chive flowers? I wonder if they would be tasty in a salad. Also, my overwintered parsley (top left) is thriving. It's not an herb that I cook with often but I really should find a use for it.

Fava Buds
What is this???!!! My Favas are starting to form buds. I have 7 plants remaining since one succumbed to an unknown pest. Next year, I will have to remember to sow more seeds as their were only 12 to a packet and germination wasn't so great. I do have a question for those of you who've grown Favas before - Do any of you pinch off the tops to encourage a more bushier growth and hopefully a bigger harvest? Left undisturbed, mine are growing pretty tall.

chard
The coffee can Rhubarb chard is doing just ok, although I have no idea why the leaves are the color they are.

Artichoke Seedling
I hadn't mentioned this before but I did save one of my aphid infested artichoke seedlings to plant out into the garden. It was the largest and least damaged-looking one. I check it regularly for aphids but they seem to have disappeared. Whenever I see a little spider in the garden, I say a little "thank you". Strangely enough, it has already started to develop the large jaded leaves found on more mature artichoke plants. The artichoke transplants that I purchased a while back have yet to reach this stage.

red scallions
The Red of Florence scallions are doing well. If you look closely, you can see the wine colored base. I have a feeling these will turn out to be real beauties come harvest time.

broccoli
Finally, the Piracicaba broccoli are doing well. After the failure I had trying to grow this veggie last fall, I'm really looking forward to picking my first mini-crown of homegrown broccoli. The problem with having a garden that is part-shade is that it takes a little longer for things to mature. I really wish these would grow a bit faster!

29 comments:

  1. I've been a lurker on your blog for a little while now, and this is my first comment.

    Yes, chive blossoms are lovely in a salad. They look especially nice on/in cottage cheese!

    Your garden looks so happy and healthy.

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  2. Villager has a recipe for chive blossom vinegar that sounds just wonderful

    http://www.ourhappyacres.com/2010/04/chive-blossom-vinegar/

    Do you think your red leaves are from the cold weather? I've never grown them, but my red lettuces are much redder when it's cold, and fade as it warms up.

    Parsley is the one herb I use the most. It's easily dried in the microwave, and I use it in soups, meatloaf, parsley buttered new potatoes or noodles....it's just a great tasting herb. If I could grow only one, it would be parsley.

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  3. Thomas, the rhubarb chard looks great...especially in the cool coffee cans : ) I have never used the chive blossoms in a salad but I have heard of people who use them....I think they would be a nice colorful touch.

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  4. Thomas,
    I've never gown fava beans before. But, why not try pinching back one or two plants and see how they do? I love doing experiments in the garden. Just remember to note what you did, when you did it, and the outcome.

    Everything is looking great!

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  5. My chives is also flowering, I will just leave it to look pretty.
    I use parsley all the time, in soups, stews, in salad dressings… its multi-purpose herb and one of my favorites.

    I’m not that worried about the color of chard. As long as it’s showing some growth.

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  6. Hey Gran- I think you're right. My red sails lettuce has been crazy red lately and probably due to the cold weather.

    Sunny- I might just do that! You're right, I'll never know for sure until I experiment, right?

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  7. I just ate a chive flower the other day a matter of fact, It was OK, but I much prefer the stem.

    As for the parsley you could make a lovely butter to freeze. Here is a post I did on herb butters with a recipe you could use (I love the parsley/garlic combo in mashed potatoes and on veggies):

    http://howkellysgardengrows.blogspot.com/2009/07/herb-butters.html

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  8. Good to know about the chive flowers! Mine have yet to do that. Your artichokes look way better than mine, mine were "frozen" at the 4 long leaf stage, never got those toothed leaves although they are still green. I would think it's too hot for them here except that I gave my friend across town 2 of my seedlings and they are knee high!! I will try one more time next year and then that idea will go in the compost!

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  9. I'm just amazed at how everything remains lush and green. You're doing a great job Thomas!

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  10. I really need to give artichokes a try in my garden. Your posts about them have my interest stirred.

    Garden looks beautiful and healthy!

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  11. Hi Thomas,
    This is my first year growing Favas as well. I found an article that you might like. It has some good tips about how to grow them. I also read somewhere that you can pinch the top of the plant once it reach 4-6 inches for bushier plant. And apparently you can use the top for cooking. :)
    You have a beautiful garden!!


    Claudia

    http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/2785/how-to-grow-favas-the-cool-season-bean

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  12. I've grown a number of varieties of favas and it seems that branching varies from one variety to another. Pinching the top out is supposed to increase pod size but not necessarily induce branching (tillers). I've found that the more space each plant has the more tillers they produce. I space mine 18 inches apart.

    Your veggies are looking really good, everything seems to be growing like crazy now!

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  13. How much sun does your garden get?

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  14. Claudia, thank you for the link. Very informative!

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  16. My piracicaba broccoli is taking a long time too, and it's in full sun. I've also got some smaller Red of Florence onions going, and it's nice to see what they are going to look like!

    Chive blossoms are definitely edible. And I do like to make flavored vinegar with them. It's really easy and a good way to use them.

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  17. Funny, I've eaten them two days in a row now, with polenta and scrambled eggs, and with mozzarella and olives on toast. They're peppery, and I crumble them.

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  18. Anonymous - Most of my garden gets at best 5 hours of direct sunlight.

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  19. I didn't even notice that my chives had buds. When you said yours were blooming I had to run to the window to see if I'm just a total space case. I am and they were. I'm thinking of making chive blossom vinegar this year. I just have to wait until they open up. Well that and get some vinegar to start with.

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  20. Your garden always looks so nice. My husband is jealous of your artichokes. I have been a complete failure growing artichokes so far. I haven't even planted mine yet...we had a cold spell.

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  21. Things are looking good in your garden! I'm so anxious to get my things out there and growing :)

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  22. I love chive blossoms in salad, but I only dress with vinaigrette in that case sine they do have a more delicate flavor.

    Your chard's colour reminds me of my Forellenschess lettuce, it is a red speckled romaine on green leaves but when it got a little cold it went almost solid red. Now it is back to mostly green with speckles.

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  23. Just as Daphne said; make Chive Blossom Vinegar! It's great on a salad and isn't much work. Clip off the blossoms, make sure there are no bugs, put them in a glass jar and cover with white vinegar. In about 2 weeks the vinegar will be a pinkish-purpleish color. strain the blossoms through cheesecloth or a coffee filter and you have chive blossom vinegar!

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  24. Hi, Jaspenelle - Mama Pea here. I had a small packet of Forellenschess lettuce two years ago and loved it. BUT as I recall, the cost of it was quite pricey. I can't remember where I got it. Do you have record of your source?

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  25. I've decided to try and grow broccoli in my first garden this year. I'm really excited about it, but I'm not sure I am capable. I'm starting to doubt myself lately, and it hasn't been very long since I planted it! Eek!
    - Kimmi

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  26. That broccoli is huge! Last year my fava's grew tall without alot of branching. They kind of looked like peas with thicker stems. The only time I trimmed the tops was later in the season when the aphids arrived. They seemed to only like the new growth.

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  27. Everything in your garden is looking great, Thomas. Must be the little helper you have that's making it grow so well! :-)

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  28. Thomas, something has eaten ALL of the leaves of my Piracicaba broccoli. :(

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  29. CAFE BUSTELLO !!!! You have no idea seeing those cans makes me smile.

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