Hey all! What a wonderful first quarter it has been this year, we have done so much together! I just wanted to give everyone a more thorough update on what the state of the garden is like and will be like for most of next quarter. Click here to see what’s in the PICA Foundational Roots Garden.
So what we have planted is a winter garden, which is fairly different than a spring/summer garden. We do not have as much heat as in the summer, so plants don’t want to put as much energy into reproduction and making fruits. Instead they are just focused on growing and getting ready for that time of year. The plants we have reflect that and are mostly going to be things that the plant will make no matter what; things like leafy greens, roots, shoots and stalks. Also very prevalent are some trees and shrubs that are putting out their fruits before they go more dormant in mid-winter. These winter veggies are going to be slower growing so we may have to wait a little while for all of these crop to be ready. There should be some good greens and veggies in the greenhouse to keep you happy in the meantime.
So hopefully you can read the map, here is a brief key: wcc = winter cover crop, brass = brassicas which include broccoli, cauliflower, romanesco, collards, and kale. If you couldn’t tell, the most popular veggies in our garden this winter are tat soi, brassicas, and scallions. These are all things that grow great here in the winter and some of them are more pest resistant. Here is a brief little guide on some ways to use these guys:
Tat soi- This is a thicker leafed Asian green and generally is better cooked. It works great in stir frys, soups,
Asian greens – These greens are less tough than others, and sometimes can be used fresh. They typically have more of bitterness to them than some lettuces we are used to, but they are still a great addition to salads. They also do quite well in cooked dishes, although I would add them near the end of making your meal because they don’t need much time to cook.
Brassicas – This is a wide variety of plants. We have all those listed above (if the gophers haven’t eaten them by the time you have read this) and many of the can be used in the same way. Collard greens and kale can be cooked in the same ways, with the exception that collards are not as good fresh. All of their leaves can be cooked like collard greens, but generally we try to save the flowering ones (like broccoli) for their delicious buds. All of the buds or flowers on these plants can be cooked like either broccoli or cauliflower would.
Scallions – These guys are the perfect middle ground between a strictly green onion and a bulb onion. There is the white base at the bottom which is very similar to a regular white onion and can be used in the same way. The green upper parts can be used in the same way that green onions would be used, and are even similar to leeks in some dishes.
Then, don’t forget to eat your fruit! The figs are coming in this time of year, and they are right behind B1 by the tool shed. For those of you who aren’t sure when to eat them, they should be dark and pretty squishy(squishier than you would think at first). There is also the amazing pineapple guava’s all along the compost area, pick them up after they have fallen off to get the good ripe ones. And the lemon tree right outside of B1 is starting to make yellow lemons.
So, keep your eyes open and eat your veggies!
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