Saturday, January 30, 2016

garden, el niño edition

The massive El Niño event we're going through has produced enormous amounts of rain in Miami this winter. Normally this is our dry season, with lower humidity levels and very little  precipitation. The Winter 2015-16 season, however, has been very wet. Our cistern is full, which means all our drinking water needs are met, and our gardens are bursting with crops. The raised beds in front of our house are filled with greens...

Dylan Terry, who had planted our vegetable garden this year, came by to do some maintenance, and this is the harvest he came up with. Five bunches of cilantro ended up as pesto, while lettuces, cabbages, French sorrel, and kohlrabi ended up in an epic salad. We've been adding parsley liberally. We can barely stay ahead of the bounty.

The tomatoes are starting to come in. They could probably use some more sun and heat, but the cool, wet conditions seem to have helped the plants grow pretty tall. We have about a half dozen varieties planted, including...

...these beautiful purple tomatoes. They are small and intensely flavorful.

The cucumbers are also on the small side, but the plants Dylan gave us are very healthy. They climb vigorously, and are covered with flowers. We've already got five cukes ready to pick.

Meanwhile, the big surprise of the week is the appearance of the first flower in one of the pineapples we planted three years ago, when we first moved in to tin box. Yes, three years. That's how long it's taken to grow a pineapple, and we have no idea how long it'll take for this efflorescence to turn into a fruit. Pineapples are not the crop I'd recommend to those who demand instant gratification.

As for the perennials, our second bunch of plantains is ripening next to the driveway, and two bunches of bananas are coming out in the backyard...

and our small, slow-growing miracle fruit bush has another batch of fruit. This is the fruit that makes sour foods (like citrus) taste sweet.