Growing Challenge 5 (The Comeback!)

Okay, okay, so we got lazy...  No, we got busy...  We really did!  The winter is such an easy time to let the garden run wild and this was certainly the case for our challenge.  Fortunately we had a few people harvesting and looking after the patch from time to time, but not enough.  This month is basically a garden makeover, Veggie Patch style.

Edibles are programmed to be eaten and if they don't, things start to get weird.  Lettuce wants to be harvested.  Lettuce NEEDS to be harvested.  All leafy greens for that matter.  The more you pick, the more the plant will produce and the longer the plant will last before going to seed.  Without harvesting, lettuce shoots big spears of flowers in the air- as if raising a hand to say "pick me!"  Without a continuous harvest our plants went to seed prematurely and stopped producing tasty leaves.  That's right, the way to get the best value out of the garden is to eat it.  

Our neglect also lead to the downfall of our favorite plant, parsley.  All of the money we could have made, all of the meals we could have eaten, all of the pats on the back we could have given to ourselves... gone.  Just a couple of harvests per week would have kept the plant producing top $$$ herbs and prevented it from going to seed.  Nevertheless, we discovered that green parsley seeds happen to pack a spicy herbal kick that provides that x-factor in any dish.  

Not all was doom and gloom at the patch, in fact, we managed to scrape together a pretty good harvest.  Our hands off approach payed dividends in the case of our troublesome mint, which seems to have turned the corner just in time for summer beverages.  The french sorrel also had an impressive showing and should remain productive for at least another month, provided we do our part and actually eat the stuff. 

The numbers:

Mint: 100g @ $3/16g = $18.75

Sorrel: 280g @ $20/kg = $5.60

Dill: 40g @ $3/16g = $7.50

Obviously we aren't breaking any records with this harvest, but we are getting our momentum back and reinvigorating the patch with some new life.  Since it's spring, we couldn't get past planting some basil and a few of our favorite heirloom tomato varieties- Tommy Toe and Black Russian.  Not only are they delicious, but planting a few varieties also ensures that we have fresh tomatoes all summer long, rather than a boom and bust type of garden.  For good measure and a little security, we added some swiss chard (reliable) and some rocket (tasty).  

That's the news from the patch, for more goodness check out our newest adventure The Club.

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