Things that worked in 2009.


Kale, beautiful Kale!
Kale, beautiful Kale!

Yes, this post starts with a picture of kale, because of all the things I grew this year, my kale plants took off like rockets and have lushly provided all summer. Perhaps even a little *too* lushly as I’ve been giving fistfuls of it away to anyone who agrees to eat it – not to mention experimenting with new and diverse ways to eat kale several times per week (processed with handfuls of basil and sunflower seeds it makes a damned fine pesto!)

Other things that this summer was good for:

  • Bok Choi – I really should have started eating this earlier as we got to the flowering point (I wanted them really big before picking) and they all bolted at once and had to be picked. We ate a lot of bok choi for two weeks – and as a result my partner discovered an amazing recipe for bok choi and kale salad (no joke).
  • Rhubarb – When we moved into our house I was pleased to find a decent-sized rhubarb plant out back. I’m not sure if it produces like this every year, but we have had two full crops out of it so far and a third is unfurling its leaves right now. We’ve given some away, canned the rest as pie filling and had a couple of crisps as well!
  • All my herb plants grew massive this year except the lavendar which may have just been dwarfed by the cabbages. I also rescued a rosemary from the front of the house and brought it back to life in the backyard.
  • And before I forget, I got three good-sized red cabbages out of the garden and two small ones – even though it was an aphid-crazy year apparently we didn’t get that kind of aphid in the garden (yes, aphids come in different strains with differing appetites!)
  • Lettuce did reasonably well, though for some reason I only planted one kind – Red Sails – which I have rectified for the winter lettuce crop.
  • Corn. We only got three ears but I thought this was remarkable given that I planted only one row and I was just mostly doing it for the beauty of the corn plant. Plus, it grew really tall!
  • Radishes!
  • Cosmos. My standby late-summer flower has done beautifully – both orange and pink/purple varieties.

I’ve had lots of other things doing reasonably – roma tomatos, peppers etc. But the above list stood out as good producers given very little support in the way of soil ammendments or organic fertilizing agents.

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