I went out to the garden this morning to water. Everything looks great, except the kale in low pots and in the ground; it must be a favorite rabbit food. Otherwise, I think it is time for another harvest. The herbs need to be trimmed and there is more lettuce/spinach ready. We also have some pretty substantial tomato fruits developing. Today, after I watered (should have done this in reverse order), I trimmed the arugula, and re-staked everything that needed a stake. It took forever, but everything looks better now: standing tall instead of lying on the ground. The tomato plants, sunflowers, potatoes, bachelor’s buttons, snap peas, squash, and herbs are all taking off. The sunflowers are noticeably taller every day I see them, I can’t wait for them to grow through the top! I also spent some time weeding today, we need to do some more of that throughout this week. I also think we should transfer our plants back in front of the new sign! Maybe we can even plant something that will grow up the sign? (Suggestions welcome!)
For the next few weeks, I will be researching and reporting on the plants we have in the garden. I’d just like to find out more about what we’ve planted and perhaps some creative ways to use all of the different herbs. We have vegetables, fruits, herbs, and edible flowers. I’ll be reporting on one or more each day (m-th). Let me know what you think!
Fun Facts about Food in the Garden!
Artichoke: (we have 2 artichoke plants at Wild Roots!)
According to WhatsCookingAmerica.net, the first artichoke was actually a young girl named Cynara. According to Aegean legend and praised in song by the poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus, Zeus (Greek King of the Gods) was visiting his brother Poseidon (Greek God of the Sea) and saw a pretty young girl on the isle of Zinari. “She did not seem frightened by the presence of a god, and Zeus seized the opportunity to seduce her… he decided to make her a goddess… Cynara agreed to the promotion… but soon became homesick and missed her mother. She snuck back to the world of the mortals for a brief visit. After she returned, Zeus discovered this un-goddess like behavior. Enraged, he hurled her back to earth and transformed her into the plant we know as the artichoke.”
Fancy, huh? I’ve never heard that story before, but it is an interesting one. I personally LOVE artichokes. But what can we learn about the actual plant?
According to the National Gardening Association, “Catherine de Medici, it is said, saw globe artichokes growing in Florentine gardens and introduced them to French cuisine. Native to Mediterranean areas, these delicacies that we slurp with butter are actually immature flower buds. The center of the flower is the prized artichoke ‘heart.’ Some folks love to eat globe artichokes, but the plant is well worth growing for its varied and intriguing characteristics.” The flower is delicious to eat, but it can also be a beautiful addition to any in-need-of-color garden. The immature flower bud is green, true, but the flower itself is a bright purple. Apparently, the resemble giant thistles (about 6 inches in diameter). The flowers attract beneficial insects (pollinators). “The blooms also dry beautifully and retain their color. The flower stays purple and the outer leaves are a pleasing, soft tan color. ”
As I said, artichokes are some of my very favorite treats! My sister introduced them to our family, and we have loved them ever since. If you do not know how to eat an artichoke, it is fairly simple (if not apparent). I suggest you take a look at this website for an easy recipe. At my house, we eat artichokes steamed ( 40 minutes) with a butter/lemon/garlic/pepper sauce. It is very easy to make and there is no true recipe, be creative! They are delicious and fun to eat, give them a try next time you see them in the store.
Thanks for reading!
Have a happy, sunny day!