Tuesday, July 3, 2012

From seed to the plate

Our roof garden has come a long way and with it us people who look after it. It was and still is a matter of trial and error, as we have to fight with harder conditions: grow bags, wind and the roof. But nevertheless, it's
full of wonderful colours: red strawberries, black currants, yellow courgette flowers, green chard, purple turnips, lettuce ranging from light green to dark red, orange nasturtium, light blue borage flowers, blood-orange bean flowers, etc. I could go on. It's just wonderful to step in the garden and see how everything's growing. We will certainly have plenty of courgettes and tomatoes, and the snow peas should be ready to be harvested soon. Like last year, I basically take something home every time when I finish with a little session. Yesterday, I picked plenty of lettuce and chives and will have it for dinner today. The garlic we planted in October seems to be ready, too. My whole kitchen smells of it now, and I haven't even cooked with it.
Since the tomatoes (bush and cordans) are flowering and some of them have even fruit already, they need feeding every week. All of them are from organic seeds and home grown. Can't wait to have a tomato mozzarella salad with our own basil.
The snow peas didn't take too long, and they are delicious in a home made Thai green curry or stir fry. I love using the produce we grow, in the end, that's what the garden's for. Of course, also for the community and learning, but the end product is food. I can't even believe how much I've learned in the past year; even though I grew up with allotments, I only remember planting some carrots and potatoes and harvesting lettuce. I had no idea how to look after the plants. And that is fun, too. There's always something to do, weeding, harvesting, sewing, pruning, and not to forget: having tea and biscuits. :-)
We also have some chamomile and I picked some flowered to make tea with them. Yes, I know I'm weird. I drink almost every herb tea there is.

Unfortunately, we have some disease in the herb bed, which I'm not too happy about. We aren't 100% sure what it may be, but the leaves of the mint and lemon balm were all sprinkled with white. So I did what I do best and gave it a really good hair cut. It's growing back looking a lot healthier, but there are still a few affected bits which I just cut back again. It all started with the sage being covered in what might have been mildew. And the thyme and rosemary is dying off, so we are trying to fight what looks like the red spider mite. Again we're not 100% sure. When you shake it, little flies come out of it.
Where it came from and how it started, is unclear. It was all perfectly healthy last year.. I'll keep you posted.

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