jovial_cynic's 2008 garden
As of 06.02.2008
Apples, granny smith (no pictures yet)The previous owners had four granny smith apple trees growing near the rear fence line. They're all very productive -- so much that I can't possibly eat them all. I think I might try canning this year.
Blueberries (two species)
These also came with the house, but were originally planted near the rear fence where it was shaded by all the trees in that area. I transplanted it to an area where it gets a lot of sun, and it seems much happier now.
The first year we lived in our house, our tree was completely overrun with the finest, juiciest black cherries I've ever seen. However, the tree only produces every other year, and this year the blossoms were hit by our freak April snow. I think we may get about 20 cherries this time around.
Grapes, green, red, black
I picked this up these at Home Depot. It said "green, red, and black" on the pot, so I guess it's going to be a colorful grapevine.
Miracle fruit plant
I bought this on eBay - it's still too young to produce fruit, but when it does, the fruit has the affect of making anything bitter or sour taste sweet; eating the fruit, and then eating lemons or rhubarb is like eating candy. The affect lasts for about an hour. Fun.
Pears, asian (two species)
The previous owner had two of these trees growing in the yard. One produces smaller fruit in large clusters, and the other produces larger fruit, but less of them.
Raspberries (two species)
I got these from a friend. It started out with about three stalks last year, and has turned into quite a forest. Just to add some fun to the mix, I picked up another stalk from my brother-in-law and threw it in. Variety is good.
This was growing along the side fence of my house, by itself. I have no clue how it got there, but I figured it'd do a little better in some good soil and sunlight. Now I have quite a few more of them. I'm considering going to Home Depot and buying another one, just for some additional DNA to mix into the bunch.
Beans, blue lake bush
Beans are magical. These things grow from seeds so quickly, it's almost comical. I have no idea what they taste like yet; I just bought seeds because I heard that beans are easy to grow.
The first picture is the product of a handful of seeds thrown into the dirt. The second picture is one of my mature broccoli plants having gone to seed. I started that plant last year, and they apparently survive Washington winters.
It doesn't look like much, but those are cauliflower florets. That's from a mature plant that also survived last winter and grew to flower this spring.
Lettuce, variety pack
Back in 2006, my lettuce patch was the best part of my garden. I had so much romaine lettuce that I was able to make salad every night. This year, I decided to use a lettuce sampler packet, but this batch don't seem to be as prolific as the romaine. I think I might buy some romaine and mix it in, just so I can keep the salad going.
Peas, sugar snap
I've grown sugar snap peas every year, and they are always very productive. I think that I want to see if I can actually harvest the seeds this year instead of eating them all. I like the idea of being able to keep up my crops without having to buy new seeds. Also, I'm thinking about growing some at work. We're allowed to have a plant or two in the office; why not have something I can eat?
Peppers, green bell
These poor creatures are actually two years old. I wanted to grow them indoors to see how they'd fair over the winter, but I never realized that they were living in the poorest quality dirt possible. It was basically just dust, and it didn't do a good job holding water at all. I finally put them out this year; hopefully they survive and produce.
My wife put a bag of red potatoes in the pantry and forgot about them for a while. They all sprouted, so I figured I'd throw them into the dirt and see what happens. I now have a potato forest. I had so many that I had to put them into two beds; come harvest time, I'm going to bring in one batch and use the other to start a new crop.
The previous owners had these growing in the backyard, and I've just kept them up every year. They're not in their own plot yet; they're just growing on a hill. I may move them this year, since I have other plans for that hill.
I bought some seeds, and as I was planting them and mixing up the dirt with some compost, I discovered that I had some pumpkin plants growing in the compost pile from last year's Halloween pumpkin. I just put them all into the raised bed together, so I'm not sure if these are pumpkins from the purchased seeds, or from the last year's pumpkin.
I planted radishes last year that I never harvested, and they all went to seed. I didn't plant any radishes this year, and yet here they are. Fun.
I picked up a section of my brother-in-law's rhubarb plant and brought it over to my garden. These things get kind of large, so I'll probably put it into its own bed. Right now, it's sharing a bed with the tomatoes, and it's going to end up crowding them out.
I started these plants in a tiny planter and then forgot about them for a while. Fortunately, they're pretty strong-willed, and are growing just fine. I think I'll throw some more spinach seed down, as it's pretty easy to grow.
Tomatoes are a pain to start from seeds, so I bought one medium sized plant and two smaller ones. It hasn't been very sunny lately, so they're not terribly happy right now. But I'm sure they'll perk up soon.
I found some wild wheat growing while on a walk, and I figured I'd grab some seeds and see what I can do with it. They seem to be growing just fine, although I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with them. I don't have enough growing to make flour... maybe I'll just harvest the seeds again and grow a larger patch next year, and a larger one the year after that.
I'm not a fan of zucchini or squash, but my wife wanted to make some zucchini bread, so I might as well grow some. I've got these in the same bed as the pumpkins.
I didn't originally plan on buying any herbs, since they're not technically "food," but after seeing some herbs growing at my brother-in-law's place, I figured I might as well flavor the food I want to eat. That, and they are kind of cool looking. I picked this up at Home Depot. It smells like spaghetti sauce. Yum.
My brother-in-law had some dill growing at his house, so I found a couple that escaped the herb section of the garden and brought them home with me. It seems to be doing pretty well after the transplant.
I never thought about growing cilantro, but while I was walking down the garden section at Home Depot, my wife grabbed it and put it in the cart. Works for me.
A coworker gave me some garlic for my garden. The photo actually shows both my true garlic (on the right) and the elephant garlic (on the left). The elephant garlic isn't a true garlic; it's actually related to the leek, but it tastes and smells like garlic.
These things came with the house, and while I don't think most people think of these as food, they are apparently edible and useful for medicinal purposes. They pretty much take care of themselves.
The previous owners had this growing in their yard, and I originally thought it was a weed. My mother later told me that it's related to the mustard and the horseradish. The leaves taste like thick lettuce that's been soaked in horseradish, which is pretty tasty. I did some research and discovered that this is actually an indian mustard, or brassica juncea. And now I know.
This is my spear mint. Like most mints, it pretty much takes over any place that it's planted. I think I'll move it away from my raised beds and put it near the fence, soon. It's starting to get a little unruly.
I'm not sure what kind of mint this is, but it smells nice and is also creeping uncomfortably close to my raised beds. Both this and the spear mint were here when I bought the house.
These grow pretty slowly. The next time around, I'll start them a few months earlier in a green house so they're a little more useful to me.
I bought this plant on eBay. It's not really a food, but it's entertaining to keep around. I've read it has some interesting characteristics.
This is another Home Depot purchase. It's quite cute, really.
These have been growing for two years. Last year, I think I did a poor job taking care of them, so they didn't grow very much. They seem to be doing much better this year, and are quite delicious.
This is another Home Depot purchase. I went on an herb kick this last weekend and figured I might as well add it to the herb section of my garden. It tastes like lemons.