Reds and Greens

The garden plot has started to deliver: radishes, rhubarb and tons of green garlic and scallions. All in pretty shades of red to purple and green. The scallions I harvested today will go in a vegetarian Pad Thai. I love the recipe for Your Pad Thai or Mine by Didi Emmons from her book Vegetarian Planet. 

The radishes, I like to just slice up, sprinkle with salt and pile them on a buttered slice of baguette. Or I use them in a spring salad I make from romaine, sliced cucumber, diced avocado and sliced radishes with a creamy cilantro lime dressing.










It has been a cool and wet May here in Boston and my vegetables are loving it. This morning, in the drizzling rain, I put in pole beans and bok choi and also direct-sowed basil – an experiment. In the past, I have always started basil from seed indoors and then transplanted.

In my garden I have currently growing: rhubarb, scallions (already harvested those two twice this season), strawberries, radishes (almost ready to harvest), carrots, parsley, leeks, beets, kale, chicory, Swiss Chard, bok choi, Brussels sprouts, garlic, peas, arugula, potatoes, pole beans, basil, spring greens and flowers. For flowers, the tulips have faded, but I also planted dahlias, nasturtiums, sunflowers and zinnias. And the borage keeps coming up everywhere of course, as does the mint and the lemon balm.

Spring planting

For a number of reasons, I did not start seedlings indoors this year. One of those reasons is that I am not planning to plant fruiting crops in the community garden because of our rodent problems. I want to discourage other gardeners as well to plant anything those critters like so we have a chance of driving them out of our garden. From personal experience I know the rats and mice love watermelons, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn (obviously…) but they left my root and leaf crops alone. So this year, I will be planting root crops, legumes and greens. Plus a lot of flowers and herbs.

Today, with the help of my 11 year-old, I sowed radishes, spring greens, arugula, mache, peas and chicory.


fullsizerender2I harvested my last carrots today. The light on this late autumn afternoon was so beautiful. No filter needed for this (iPhone) picture. So, no more carrots for the season. Still growing in my garden are: kale, Swiss chard, lettuce, radishes, leeks, arugula and a ton of parsley.  And of course the four rows of garlic I planted a couple of weeks ago, but this one I will not enjoy until next summer.






Oh rats!


Last week, I found out why my tomato harvest is so meager this year and why while the cucumbers started out very well, I did not harvest any lately. Rats! They also destroyed my watermelon patch. I had five beautiful melons growing and within a day and a half all of them were gone. The rat(s) had taken up residence under the wooden border of my plot and dug a little nest. I tried to flush them out with the garden hose and I thought it had done the trick. No fresh digging marks for a few days. Last night I discovered a newly dug hole. The obstacles of urban gardening, I suppose. But what a disappointment.



Potatoes. Always for this German girl. I never plant enough it seems, but then I have such limited space and I like variety in the garden. I did not harvest as many potatoes as I had expected this year, only 4 pounds. But I only had 8 plants as some of the seed potatoes never sprouted, so I guess it is not all that bad. And those potatoes (Banana fingerlings) are delicious! I just roasted a few of them and we enjoyed them for dinner with roasted asparagus and prosciutto sage butter. Yum!



5 pounds of garlic total (Music and Red Russian), harvested July 18th

It has been three months since my last post. Summer has been busy and a lot has happened in the garden since May. I had a bumper crop of cucumbers, peas and green beens and the kale and Chard are doing well. It has not been a good year for tomatoes so far, but there are still a lot of green tomatoes on the vines. Here are a few pictures from past harvests.

I did my fall planting last week: one row each of radishes, arugula and head lettuce each, and two rows of  a fall greens mix.

IMG_6364Swiss Chard, garlic scapes and rhubarb, June 22

IMG_6422Spring greens, peas and green beans, July 7




galette_05_20_2016Spring! Things are shaping up in the garden. This past weekend, I hauled in my first harvest of the year – rhubarb. I proceeded to turn those first stalks into one of my favorite spring desserts: strawberry rhubarb galette. My family devoured it. It was gone in minutes.

Spring with certainty also means the first gardening fails. This year it seems to be birds. They completely raided the first crop of peas that I had planted in mid-April and munched on the lettuce and kale transplants I had planted at the end of April. I retaliated by sowing more lettuce (May 9) and more peas (May 14) and in both instances the birds have not shown much interest. So far.

potatoes_05_09_2016I had planted seed potatoes (Banana fingerling) on May 9 and today the first plants showed their leaves, so I added another 3 to 4 inches of soil. Today I also transplanted my tomato seedlings (Brandywine, Striped German and Boxcar Willie), only five plants total this year and interplanted them with basil and marigolds. The basil is Nufar and the marigolds are from our local farmer’s market. And the leeks are in as well. The only seedlings I still have going on my back porch now are cucumbers and watermelon.


High time to plant the garden! I had a bit of a delay this year as the kids and I were out of town for a week in mid-April and there was no water yet in the garden. I therefore decided to delay planting until we got back from our trip. It is one thing to ask your plot neighbor to water your crops in mid-July, which will entail pointing the hose a few yards to the side. It is yet another to ask him to haul over gallons of water from his house to do the same in the spring. So, today I transplanted lettuce and kale seedlings I had started indoors in March. Last weekend I also sowed carrots and radishes, a spring green mix, Swiss chard and more peas. Now let’s water and be patient.


The first flowers are coming in and the strawberries are flowering and the rhubarb is looking good.

Geum042916 strawberries042916 rhubarb042916

April Snow

Garlic April4 2016

Winter is back in Boston. It has been snowing yesterday and we got a few more inches today. The forecast calls for very low temperatures for the next couple of days, down to the twenties over night. I am not sure my peas will make it, so I will plant new ones once this cold spell is over. My garlic should be okay, right?