The Secret Garden
The gated community where we live is a dream come true. Mature trees, gardens, ponds, beautiful views, wonderful neighbours, great strata council. The only thing that we both really miss is personal land to grow food, make compost, and experiment with permaculture.
The strawberry bed is 4′ x 20′. There are bare spots to fill and some of the old plants need replacing. These healthy young ones are putting out lots of runners so next year we will have a great crop of berries.
We have two very young zucchini plants. This is the first fruit. The cucumber plants are quite small as well, but eager to produce apparently. We found two ready-to-eat cucumbers already. It was great timing because I wanted to try a purslane-cucumber salad with sugar snap peas and mint, which was delicious by the way.
Jerusalem artichokes are tall and the tubers can take over a garden space forever if you’re not careful. I’ve never grown them and don’t really know what to expect from this sunflower cousin, but I’ve confined them to a couple of large pots and we’ll see what happens. Jim built a hinged A-frame trellis for the Fortex pole beans. I had originally considered trying to grow beans up the sunchoke stems, but I don’t know if they’ll be sturdy enough. If they are, a month from now I may sow a circle of fall sugar snap peas around the pot.
The second A-frame trellis is for the six cucumbers, four that I grew from seed and two that came from the nursery. Most of the fruit is destined for lacto-fermented dill pickles. Just beyond the cucumber patch is a small bed of parsnips, another thing I’ve never grown before. Nothing to see yet.
The closeup photo is of a black futsu squash plant. These are fairly unique winter squashes because the skin stays edible and tender even at maturity. In spite of that, they are great keepers and perfect for including in a hearty roasted vegetable platter.
And now you’re up to date on what’s been keeping me busy lately. Happy summer to you!