Valynda MayesComment

November: Garden and Greens

Valynda MayesComment

I'm leaving the seed heads for the birds, and trying not to harvest the flowering pineapple sage or Indian holy basil until the very last minute.

It is so gratifying to have food that you have grown yourself. I have so much to be thankful for this year!

This has been the best fall garden yet--seven years in!

This is my first time planting garlic. Huge cloves of the hardneck variety "music," among the Napa cabbage. I think I ended up with good enough spacing (I'll have scapes if not), and the soil there is deepest (from a failed attempt at growing artichoke). 

I'm harvesting lots of greens, especially Napa cabbage (as I thin in the hope of getting full heads) yukina savoy (similar to tat soi), and Chinese broccoli (a pretty red-stem variety, but the stems don't get fat and crunchy like the green one--I'll try that next). The komatsuna and vitamin green are about to take off. I'll at least have pea shoots if the peas don't bloom soon. I have successfully grown heads of pak choy for the first time. The kale is not full of caterpillars.

I should have parsley and scallions whenever I need them, plus celery leaves for soup. I've got zaatar to dry, dill if I feel like it, and cilantro for a while. The mache will be there under the snow.

I have two varieties of arugula. The frilly Italian variety is on the right:

The preserving projects are piling up. The shiso is setting seed, and I want to harvest seeds, buds, and leaves to make kimchi and Japanese salted shiso.

I'm hoping the Tunisian peppers will ripen in time, but the Italian ones can be eaten fresh or pickled red or green.

I'll be getting daikon roots to pickle, but my other roots are iffy--I never thinned the golden turnips or the Japanese radish. Another "maybe:" the broccoli that has been growing forever.

The back flower garden is a mess, but the fall color is spectacular.