Hello Blog Readers! Madison here, with my happy garden face on.
I would like to update all our readers on the garden project that my friend Sam and I have been working on, with help from Henry too. Sam will be writing a guest post this summer, but I wanted to give you all a little update first. We set out to reconnect with the earth and grow as much food as we can on a lovely 20×20 plot at Badger Prairie Community Garden. Thus far, we’ve worked hard, solved lots of problems, and are finally getting our first harvests of sugar snap peas, radishes, and amaranth!
So what is growing in the garden right now?
Strawberries have just passed their peak at this point. If you haven’t gone strawberry picking, you should get out there ASAP! And if you haven’t had a fresh strawberry right out of the field before, you’re really missing out. The big watery berries from the grocery store simply cannot compare to the flavor explosions of fresh strawberries. We have immense gratitude for our strawberries in the garden this year, because they were an unintentional gift from the previous owner. We didn’t plan on growing them, but when we found them we just had to keep them! Even with some transplanting, they still flowered and fruited this year, which was simply wonderful.
Sugar Snap Peas are our first harvest of the summer! Not many of them make it home, though, because they are so delicious and easy to eat. Since they prefer cooler weather, they will be done soon, and we will plant something else in their place.
Beets, Carrots, and Radishes have found a home in the larger raised bed by the door. This first round of radishes is almost done, in fact! We’ve enjoyed eating them with assorted dips, and I sliced them into some miso soup. The beets and carrots had surprisingly spotty germination, but the ones that germinated are growing well.
Our first big row is home to our Three Sisters Plantings (corn, beans, and squash), with four different heritage types of corn starting to come up and form the architecture that runner beans will soon climb. Now that the corn is almost knee high, it’s time to plant the beans! Also in this row is our Hopi Red Dye Amaranth, which we are going to use for dying and seed saving. A lesser-known cousin-of-sorts to the three sisters are Sweet Peppers, which are planted at each corner. We will write more about the Three Sisters in an upcoming blog post!
Finally, our last row includes Onions, Tomatoes, and Basil. The onions are looking awesome, and will be ready near the end of July when their foliage begins to die back (that’s when their sweet, juicy flavor really kicks in). The tomatoes were a bit miraculous, because the seedlings had a very rough transplanting process, and we didn’t think they would make it at first. But about 75% of them bounced back, and a handful are really flourishing at this point. The basil started out in the same way, but is already starting to leaf out.
Stay tuned to the blog for more detailed posts about the growth and nutritional content of each of these plants. As we harvest them, I will do a short post about how each of these foods nourish our bodies and flourish in the soil.
Back at my parents house, I planted some Basil in pots on their porch. The starts were part of their Community Supported Agriculture share which, instead of sending herbs in their vegetable boxes each week, sends some seedlings in the spring which can be planted and harvested throughout the summer. The purple basil was one of our starts from the garden. Combined with some Garlic Scapes from a fellow community gardener, some olive oil, and some sunflower seeds, the first harvest of basil from those pots made some scrumptious pesto!
So that is my seasonal saga of local food in the Hungry Siblings Blog universe! What have you been harvesting and cookin’ up this summer? We want to know! Comment below, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love hearing from our readers.