|From the Garden Plot: Harvest!|
|Features - The Home Farmer|
|Written by Alicia Ghio|
The first day of July was a monumental day for the Ghio household. We had our first official garden harvest! What was on the menu? Kale! It felt so rewarding to cut those leaves and head right to the kitchen to make dinner. It doesn’t get more local or fresh than that.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to make, but I knew my kale wasn’t just going to be for a side dish. It needed to shine in a main course. I decided to make cheesy quinoa and kale. I made it like you would a risotto, even though it wasn’t as creamy (starchy) as it would be with Arborio rice. Nonetheless, the end result was delicious.
Elsewhere in the garden, things are continuing to take shape. My tomatillo plants literally are exploding with blossoms, all my tomato plants have flowers or even small tomatoes. My pepper plants are so-so. Some, not all, have flowers. I remainoptimistic. Seeing a nearly microscopic pepper starting to emerge from one of the plants gives me hope. Alas, the Swiss chard and bush beans do not look as healthy as I’d like. Time to do some research and see what I can do to revive them. Make compost tea perhaps?
Even though my herbs are in containers and not “in the garden plot” I thought it was important to report one casualty. My basil definitely has basil blight. I am bummed and feverishly picked whatever leaves I could for pesto and froze it.
My competition also has been enjoying the fruits of her labor. Our little competition is keeping her engaged and working hard. I must say her garden does look healthy and I can almost taste those beautiful little tomatoes. Jenna’s mom tells me that she’s willing to eat a lot more veggies and is learning a lot at the same time. Woohoo! I couldn’t ask for more. Apparently Jenna’s garden has had its struggles too: the romaine lettuce was inedible, too bitter. After some research I learned that lack of moisture can cause bitter lettuce as well as too little or too much of certain nutrients in the soil. Good to know for next year.
What will the next harvest bring? Stay hungry and stay tuned.