Wednesday, November 21, 2012

our first harvest

With the turkey brined, and slowly air drying under a coat of spices in our refrigerator, it's an opportune time to reflect on the slow progress of our garden. We harvested our first tomato last week, and have been using some of the herbs we've been growing, including basil, garlic, sage, rosemary, savory and dill. We have some cucumbers ripening on the vine, which might find their way into a salad tomorrow night, and we have a bumper crop of sweet potato vine that might end up as a Thanksgiving side dish.

The sweet potato was a great accidental discovery. It started to grow in our fridge, so we dropped it in the part of the vegetable garden over by the driveway. The enormous vine appeared almost overnight, and we've been able to root and plant cuttings. The leaves are delicious when sauteed in olive oil, especially with some of the garlic we've been growing. In the back of the planter, starting on the left, we have basil, lemongrass, a Meyer lemon tree, calaloo, a June pear tree, several types of tomatoes, a few pepper plants, and a prolific cucumber. The herbs in the foreground include scallion and garlic.

Our mint plants seem to really like their location - we have peppermint, spearmint and lemon balm on one side of the front walk, and regular mint and orange mint on the other side. We've placed small basil plants and other herbs throughout both planters to protect the leafy greens from the peafowl (the birds seem to dislike basil, thyme, dill and other savory herbs; they love greens like Okinawa spinach). We'll soon start planting the first seedlings we started from scratch, including some pumpkins that started growing in the compost bin (thrown away while carving the jack-o-lantern) and some pepper plants.

We don't have a huge haul of food from the gardens, yet, but we're really going to savor our first harvest this Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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