My Edible Garden

I've been gardening for most of my life and have been a devoted fan of organic gardening the whole time. It just makes so much more sense to work in harmony with Mother Nature than to fight her. Besides which it is better for the planet and better for our bodies. Here you can see what I'm planting and harvesting, with gardening hints and resources thrown in for good measure.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Harvest Monday

greens, artichokes, onion
Harvest Monday once again! Link up with Daphne's Dandelions and visit gardeners around the world!

Here in the US this is a holiday; Memorial Day, to remember those that have died for their country. Today I also reflect on my many ancestors that fought in the Revolution, Civil War and other times of trouble to ensure freedom for their descendents.

But the garden harvest does not wait for anything. The garden gives when it's ready to give and you'd better be there to catch it! Like my grandkids will say "You get what you get and don't throw a fit!"

My cooking greens have now generally been green chard, red burgundy amaranth and some fat nasturtium leaves. Nasturtium is too hot and spicy for me to eat raw, but it is a lovely addition to cooked greens. Also found these three small artichokes.

Royal Burgundy purple snap beans
This was a week of firsts. Here are the first purple snap beans. I now remember what I didn't like about the Royal Burgundy beans. They are not very bush like and they tend to sprawl all over each other in a tangle. I think I will try another variety next year; anyone have suggestions?

The first nasturtium blossom opened.
nasturtium blossom

trumpet vine

The trumpet vine began blooming this week; it's a big draw for the hummingbirds.


My free waterlillies put out their first bud.

permaculture bed
Here is my experimental permaculture bed. In the center is a small Kadota white fig. Around the edges are comfrey plants which will be chopped down for mulch and animal feed. Also scattered around the edge are lemon mint, sunflowers and Kaboch squash. Sprinkled all over are buckwheat; also for animal feed and mulch. I also just discovered that buckwheat greens can be added to salad mixes. And their flowers are good bee food.

comfrey blossom
baby fig
Chaparral Sage blooming
Sage blossom

The Chaparral Sage by the driveway is blooming. I love the scent of this plant, I make bundles of it for smudge sticks and as an air freshener. Just leave a bundle in your hot car and it will smell wonderful when you get in it. When the sun is shining hot on the leaves you can smell these two small plants 10-15 feet away.

gnarly turnips

I realized (not the first time in my gardening life either!) that turnips really are mostly a fall crop. They began bolting and these two roots were the only ones in the patch that were big enough to do anything with. The rest went to the chickens.

first potatoes

More firsts this week were the first potatoes. The russets were from sprouting grocery store spuds and the red one is a Red Pontiac. I think all the work I put into the potato beds, begging for leaves, adding coffee grounds and potash, extra digging, is going to pay off in a nice crop this year.

first tomatoes

And the first tomatoes! The Princepes and the currants ripened at once. And of course a bird had to have a taste too.

Pearl Oyster Mushrooms

And a promise for next week! The mushrooms are growing!


  1. Woo! Lots of firsts.

    We are going to try growing mushrooms this year. Your oysters look so yummy.

    I only grow pole beans here. Any bush beans I plant quickly get overwhelmed by insects.

  2. Beautiful harvest! Congratulations on first mushrooms and those potatoes and beans look great too!

  3. You really do have a lot of firsts this week. No suggestions for another purple bush bean. I actually really like Royal Burgundy because it will germinate and thrive in cooler conditions than regular green bush beans - a distinct advantage in my region's maritime climate which can be quite damp and cool in the spring. They do have an almost half runner bean quality to them though, so I know what you mean about them being less tidy in their growth.

  4. Those purple snap beans sure are pretty despite their runner tendencies. Congrats on your first tomatoes! The firsts are always exciting and tasty. I didn't know you could cook nasturium leaves- I need to try that.

  5. I don't have a specific suggestion for your purple beans, but I do have a link to suggest to you. Try I have been very happy with the seeds I got from her, and she has several purple varieties.

  6. I love my Rattlesnake Pole beans. But this year I'm trying Royal Burgundy for the first time, to fill the short gap between the last peas and first pole beans. I'm planning to plant them tonight.

    Maybe I'll put the Royal Burgundy along a strip of 3' high fencing - similar to my pea trellis.

  7. What amazing harvests this week! Tomatoes and potatoes and beans?! Wonderful! I can hardly wait for your mushrooms to be ready! We've grown then indoors once and are thinking about it again! The taste difference (as with most things home grown) really is amazing :-)

  8. I like red noodles, no they are not purple, i plant mine along a fence very pretty plant. You sure had a lot of firsts, that is so exciting.

  9. Hi! You are doing very well with all your firsts! Guess I better check on my few turnips and see if they are bolting. My spinach bolted and I will miss that! I also have a little comfrey and put it on the compost and would like to try some comfrey tea for my plants. Your things are looking good! Nancy

  10. Wonderful Harvest Monday! I'm going to try growing some of your sage...did you grow from plants or seeds?

  11. Beautiful pictures. Our tomatoes are getting attacked by birds too. :( Your potatoes look great.

  12. Wow you have a variety selection of harvest! Amazing that you already started harvesting summer crop in May.

  13. Wow Mary, you have a great variety of edible goodies growing! I grew nasturtiums last year to try in salads but they were too pretty. I just couldn't bring myself to pick them. I didn't know the leaves were good cooked too. I've grown red burgundy beans too. I usually grow blue lake green beans with pretty good results (until the slugs get them). I'm excited about your mushrooms. Neato!

  14. Thanks everyone for the suggestions and kind compliments; much appreciated.

  15. wow, burgundy beans. That's so cool! I'm very curious to taste a nasturtium. - they are so pretty looking. I'd like to grow some too!