Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Figs, etc

Last week I picked figs from the communal trees and made some jam. A kind fellow gardener traded a cucumber for a carrot. And the plum tomato plant is heavy with fruit, mostly green at this point. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Corn Serves as Praying Mantis Habitat

I may not get any ears from my Indian Corn crop, but at least I know it's going to good use.  The past few times I've visited the Brunswick Street Community Garden, I've spotted this tan fellow on my cornstalks. Why did I plant corn in such a tiny garden?  Last fall I bought a decorative trio of small Indian Corn ears at a farm stand in Lancaster, PA and saved them until this spring.  Each ear was a different mix of reds, yellows, browns, and oranges and I was curious to see what I would get from their offspring.  So I planted and they came up, survived the rainy-hot-rainy-hot cycle of summer weather, grew tassels, some toppled over, and most are developing very tiny ears.  I don't know if any of the ears have kernels on them; it looks like only one is plumping up.  My plan is to harvest them when the stalks begin to dry out.  Until then, the praying mantis gets to enjoy his own little vertical cathedral of maize.

A few more deep brown Earthwalker sunflowers are blooming on the single stalk that grew large enough to flower.  Both the bees and I love them.

Who's got eggplants?  I do!  One of my plants is nurturing at least a half dozen purple fruits.  They're a small variety, so we won't be overwhelmed by the harvest.  As you can see, the plant foliage is under siege by flea beetles, who are making Alpine Lace out of the leaves.  I diligently squish any that I see when I water but it seems to be a relentless assault.  Regardless, the plant is doing a fine job of flowering and holding on to the fruit.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Eating local, real local.

I had a big harvest yesterday after not visiting the garden for a week.  Everything looked fine.  The Beefmaster plant is huge and still producing tomatoes.  It would probably do well with an 8' stake at this point but it's going to have to be content with draping all over the corn.  The beans continue to flower and my succession planting seems to be a success.  The younger plants should begin flowering in the next week.  To make room I thinned out some of the older plants that looked a little dry.  We ate the beets, beans, and carrots last night along with our first installment from our fish CSA (silver hake).  It was a very local dinner!

I'm growing a dramatic sunflower called Earth Walker.  I would like a whole bouquet of these but since I've only got one, I guess it'll stay in the garden.

Anybody want a kitten?  This little ruffian is running around the garden and sitting on my plants.  I love crazy face markings on cats though, and this guy/gal has one killer nose!

These trees are in bloom in Jersey City right now.  The big billowy flowers look great but turn into a disgusting sidewalk pulp once they come down.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Oddities from the Garden

Most of the carrots I grow wind up looking like pants or ginger roots and I've definitely seen a few tomatoes from the garden who could be called Pinnochian.  Fruits and veg in nature are rarely the uniform beauts you buy at Whole Foods.  The weirdos have all been winnowed out by the time they hit the markets.

Artist Uli Westphal has a lovely series of photos documenting all the unusual shapes that produce can grow into if allowed.

The Mutato Project is interesting for anyone with an artistic eye or who has gardened, but also strikes a chord with anyone who has shopped for fresh produce.