Tuesday, July 31, 2012

When will they invent a self-harvesting garden?

We harvested a mess of coriander seeds this morning up in the Volunteer Garden, where all kinds of interesting things are growing despite the fact that we didn't plant them. Take those coriander seeds: I've tried for years to grow cilantro without ever producing a single harvestable leaf or seed, but this year a huge mass of cilantro sprung up in the smaller herb garden just uphill from the house, providing many lovely flavors for early summer dishes. Then when we left town to flee the power outage the whole thing got neglected and went to seed, which means no more leaves to harvest but plenty of peppery coriander seeds to flavor my curries.

Some volunteer fennel grew in that plot as well, but the seeds are still too green to harvest. They taste fresh and slightly flowery but won't keep well until they start to brown. Also in that plot we have volunteer tomatillos just about ready to harvest and a new stand of mint we didn't plant. We'll have to keep an eye on that mint. With a little encouragement, it'll take over the universe.

The vegetable garden has reached filling-the-refrigerator stage, which means I'd better start taking some things to campus to give away. Tomatoes, anyone? How about a big fat tangy kohlrabi? I'm looking forward to eating fresh cantaloup for breakfast one of these mornings, but I can't eat twelve of them. I hope they don't all ripen at the same time!

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