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CSA Update and Request for Proposals

Twas yummy.  I put the CSA goods to work tonight.  Flatbush Co-op provided the chicken (farm-raised, and all the other good stuff) and lemon but the other part of that dish, the rosemary came just a couple steps from my door, and my favorite farmers from Garden of Eve in Riverhead, NY, grew the zuchini, yellow squash, bok choy and sugar snap peas that created the side accompaniment.  They also harvested half the red leaf lettuce for the salad (the rest came from apple boxes in the backyard), as well as the radishes I sliced for the side.  And the thyme that peppered the honey mustard vinaigrette was plucked from a container out front.   My mom is visiting from Wisconsin.  She’s been coming to visit on and off for the twelve years I’ve been living here and now that I’m older, we tend to spend more time catching up here in my cozy corner of Brooklyn rather than running the city streets and getting ourselves kicked out of bars (yes, that really happened).  So tonight we opted for a late dinner topped off with a bottle of Gruner Veltliner from this strange little wine store I passed after leaving the co-op.

My mom has lupus, and I try to be especially mindful of what we’re eating when she’s here.  There’s a lupus diet I’m loosely familiar with, one that I think would boost the health of probably anyone, whether or not they suffer from a disease.  It recommends cutting out the whites: flour, sugar, wheat, rice.  So tonight we opted for brown rice (which is my usual fare anyway).  And when she asked me to pick up a loaf of bread, I chose spelt.  (I still haven’t pointed this out to her and, since I’ve not yet heard any complaint, I’m assuming the switch has gone unnoticed).  But back to gardening…

I’m not planning on introducing much new to my garden.  At the beginning of the season, my front yard was nearly unadorned, with just a few mature hostas forming a border to the side of the front yard.  It now boasts those same hostas, spread out so that the border outlines the front of the yard where it’s interspersed with day lilies from Wisconsin.  Just beyond that is my native plant garden (the black-eyed susan bloomed!!!), along with some pumpkins and wild ginger that are really beginning to feel at home.  I also have a couple container plants going – my own cucumbers in a homemade self-watering container are ecstatic – just had to build a trellis for them to scale, and a new hosta that was a birthday present from a dear friend is starting to settle in, and has her own perfect little spot in the partial sun.  And on and on.  All that said, I still have a little room and a teensy bit of energy left for maybe one more newbie.  I’m definitely more inclined at this point to add something that can join a party in my tummy later, and if it’s native and can keep working through the winter, all the better.  As for container or ground, I could do either but would probably lean more toward container.  There’s plenty of sun-estate left, so that’s not an issue.  Bet you can guess my

QUESTION: what should be the final addition to my garden this summer?  What are you growing right now that has made you the most happy?  The most full?  What have you got going that you might not grow again?  Who’s your superstar and who will be chopped?  It’s okay.  Not every plant is for every person , and I’m sure they know that or they wouldn’t ever wilt on us.  You won’t hurt their feelings.  You can tell me.  Go ahead … gimme the dirt!

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3 responses to “CSA Update and Request for Proposals

  1. Ralph ⋅

    If you aren’t growing them already, strawberries.I planted some miniatures last year in a container and I got fruit. I left them outside through the winter and they’re back producing fruit again. I picked some seeds last year but haven’t tried to grow any yet. I pick the small fruit and just mix them into salads. Next I want to get some large ones. If you decide to grow some there are 2 general types. ‘Ever bearing’ has a longer fruit producing season, I forget what the other type is called, but a quick Google search or looking in a seed catalog should have it.

    My plants in the ground aren’t off to such a great start this year. The containers seem to be doing much better. Just about everything I grow is from seeds and I started some indoors to get a head start while it was still too cold outside. Some grew too fast and more importantly it was hard getting them enough sun. I don’t have a south facing window so I was constantly moving plants around the house chasing the sun.

    What wouldn’t I grow- an odd question to ask someone who has a yard 3/4 full of grass and weeds. If they fail again this year, zucchini. They are supposed to be nearly foolproof to grow but I haven’t had any luck. My niece had them hanging out of a tree about 15 feet off the ground, mine got flowers and died.

    Try calendula (pot marigolds). They keep bugs away, make nice flowers and they are medicinal. I grew some from seeds in a flower pot for the first time this year. I have some flowers already.

  2. meemsnyc

    I’m going to grow more cucumbers and squash next year. I love growing them. Not returning to the garden is broccoli.

    • Hi — just curious what happened with your broccoli? Did you grow it in years past? I haven’t been brave enough to venture into that territory. It seems like a hard plant to grow – don’t know why, just on an instinct level. I have noticed that the CSA broccoli I get tends to be pretty yellowy and I’m not sure if that’s how it’s supposed to be, or if that’s something particular to this growing season’s conditions. I have noticed in years past that if I grow something in-ground that’s also low to the ground, the Brooklyn critter creatures (who are stealthy and so far unidentified) tend to get into it by digging it up and making off with it. Was your broccoli in ground or containers? What would you say is your ratio of in ground to container plants?

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