Today wraps up my first weekly theme for VeganMoFo: Food from the Garden! Very appropriately, Miss Kittee (aka Cake Maker to the Stars) asked for pictures of my garden, which has produced so much goodness. So, here you have it:
Actually, our garden is quite humble, but it has done a good job this year! Here are my 3 raised beds, which are located right outside our front door... where we get pretty good sunlight. I am very proud of them, because I built them myself, which made me feel like a super badass! In the middle bed are some kales and basils which are not thriving. Soon I will harvest them, yank them out, and take some care to amend and re-nourish the soil. In the far bed, you can see my 3 sprawling butternut squash plants. This year we got 11 BIG butternuts. Hoorah!
In the front bed, I have a little zuke plant which is still making some nice baby zucchini.
Also in the front bed are some beautiful seeds sprouting up... Looking at these baby broccoli plants really makes me think "One day soon, I will eat you!"
Beautiful baby beets. I have determined that it is fundamentally good for the soul to plant seeds, and care for them, and watch them grow.
Future escarole. I've never actually had escarole, but I heard it was good... so I gave it a go!
3 rows of future carrots. I will eat them.
We also have a meyer lemon tree by our front door, which is quite prolific at times. Just now, it is busy making lemons, but there aren't any ripe ones on the tree. At times like these, I find it painful to actually pay for lemons at the market.
Spurred on by the success of our lemon tree, we planted 3 more citrus in the median between our driveway and our neighbors. That was only last year, and we have yet to actually eat any thing off these trees... but it shouldn't be too long. It's a Bear Lime in front, then a Cara Cara Orange, and finally a Trovita Orange.
The Cara Cara orange tree is FULL of future oranges, and I am absolutely thrilled. This is probably my most favorite orange variety that I have ever tasted, and they are elusive and hard to find. I am so excited that our tree is doing well, and can't wait to try them out.
Also along the driveway is our oh-so-amazingly-prolific tomato patch. It's all looking quite rangy and end-of-season by now... but I'm sure you all know how many tomatoes we've gotten this year... And yes, that beast taking over the whole driveway is the isis candy plant. I think it's the combination of heat reflecting off our driveway and the side of the house that has created such a productive "hot house" for our 'maters. I plan on taking great care of the soil after harvest is over, because it has been so fun to have such great tomato productivity this year.
Here are some Isis Candy Tomatoes on the vine.
A BIG Pineapple Heirloom tomato, just a day or two away from being ready to pick.
Some nice red Early Girls... still bearing fruit late in the season. Sometime soonish I'll come out and harvest the green tomatoes, which are plentiful and look for some good green tomato recipes. I welcome your suggestions!!
Another fun plant, which I haven't been able to put to use yet, is my lemongrass plant. I picked this up at the farmer's market when the fellow there assured me that they grew well here. Well, he was right! It's been charging along, but I am waiting for it to be more well-established before I start harvesting from it. But I can't wait!
One last thing... in the back, behind the garage, we have a truly wonderful apple tree. It's so crazy and overgrown right now that I am unable to really get a picture of it...
.... But you can see that there are a lot of apples this year!!
And, luckily, they are finally starting to get ripe. Just last week we had our first home-grown apples of the season! Mmmm...
Most of our apples have worm presence, but I have come to accept this as part-of-the-deal. It's not a problem when you're making a pie or applesauce or even just cutting them up. Sometimes though, you find a perfect beauty like this one - unblemished! Taking these garden pictures inspired me to cut this pretty little apple for a snack... along with a dollop of peanut butter. So good!
Last but not least, tonight's dinner. Tonight I'm planning on cooking up some Butternut-Lemongrass Soup from "Voluptuous Vegan," which has always caught my eye, but I've never made. This beautiful butternut is already in the oven, roasting away. Butternuts are a bit of a family tradition... my grandparents always grew them in SPADES (one year I think they harvested something crazy like 145 squashes!). Also featured in this picture is a little volunteer winter squash, which grew up next to one of my butternut squash plants. Any ideas who this little fellow is?
I hope you've enjoyed my garden tour!
Tomorrow begins my second weekly theme... and it's gonna be a fun one!