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August Garden Update

Yesterday’s post focused on the food that is available growing wild at this time of year.  Today, I’m going to take a look at what the garden has to offer as August draws to a close.

Pollock tomatoes ripening

Pollock tomatoes ripening

I have complained just as much as everyone else about the lack of sun and heat this summer.  This should have been a particularly bad year for tomatoes because they depend on these too variables and there are stories that farmers in New England have had their crops attacked by blight that flourishes in wet weather.  Last year the tomato plants went into the garden on 31st of May and the first ripe tomatoes were ready around the 26th of August.  This year I transplanted them a week earlier and we were eating ripe tomatoes by the 22nd.  Canabec Rose and Pollock varieties have both been good about being the first to ripen. (more…)

Pickled Daikon

This split root is not ideal but luckily only we only  had one like this

This split root is not ideal but luckily only we only had one like this

Apparently, daikon is not a widely recognised vegetable so first things first: daikon is a Japanese radish that looks a lot like a large, white carrot.  It is familiar to many as that noodle-like garnish on sashimi plates in second-string sushi joints (the best, I find, don’t bother with garnish and the third-string seem to prefer carrot).

This is the first year that we have grown daikon in the garden at the cottage. The unusual, but prolific leaves that these white radishes put out did an excellent job of controlling neighbouring weeds.  We are challenged because the backyard at the cottage only has a couple inches of soil above the bedrock. Many hours of digging and dozens of bags of garden soil have bettered this situation but soil depth is still a concern.  Luckily, unlike carrots, daikon seems to be alright with putting on growth above ground once they run out of room. (more…)

First Salad of the Season

Lettuce growing beside radishes

Lettuce growing beside radishes

All the way back on Valentine’s Day I started some lettuce seeds on our south-facing windowsill.  For the last few weeks they have really thrived in the backyard greenhouse and did especially well under this weekend’s warm sunshine.

For dinner this week we trimmed off (the lettuce is, apparently, of the cut-and-come-again variety) the first batch of fully-grown leaves and made a very simple salad.  Kat created an excellent dish by dressing the lettuce with olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper.  It tasted especially good, I think, because the distance from soil to plate was literally less than two feet.