Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Garden Harvest and Greenhouse

So exciting is our first harvest/s (weight in pounds):

Rhubarb (2 pounds)
Asparagus (1 pound)
'New Red Fire' lettuce (0.5)
Mild Mesclun (0.5)
sweet Walla Walla onions (from last fall) (0.5)
Spinach... not enough to weigh.

My plan last week was to delay picking any spinach and wait until it was a bit larger, but yesterday I found that most of it had been eaten (lower left was all that remained). Now what would do a thing like that?

Fresh from the garden to last night's dinner plate: oven-roasted asparagus and a salad of the mesclun, onion, this beautiful burgundy-colored lettuce, with a raspberry vinaigrette, to accompany a grilled Tilapia. Now does it get much better than that?

Off to the potting shed and greenhouse I will go shortly. I've been gradually taking the seedlings from all over the house and repotting them in their new home.

I use the term greenhouse loosely, as it is not in the true sense of the word, but rather a simple addition to our old potting shed. It shares a common (outside) wall, and we purchased very few materials. We had leftover stone (seconds and purchased at a half price sale) from another little garden project and odds and ends of older leftover lumber that were saved and stacked over the years. We purchased 3 large inexpensive windows ($150 each), a new skylight ($150 on Craigslist), and a storm door ($150)... hmm, interesting number for each of those. Although it is some distance from the house, things are much more convenient and organized. We will be most interested to see how everything grows considering it does not have all the light a real greenhouse would have, but so far so good, especially this tomato plant.

The story behind the tomato plant: My husband was attending a meeting in Chicago the last week of February. That Friday evening, the 26th, we spoke and discussed our day. I told him I had visited our local hardware store (it's like a Home Depot or Lowes, but much better for there is always a knowledgeable someone waiting to assist) to pick up a bag of potting soil... and of course I might look at more seeds... just look of course.

I proclaimed, Can you believe they already had some tomato plants, rather large ones with a few blossoms, but I wasn't going to spend $3.00 dollars for one.

He asked, How big were they?

Oh, 14 to 16 inches tall.

And they had blossoms?

Yes, three blossoms.
And you wouldn't pay $3.00 for it? That's what it would cost for just a few tomatoes at the market.

When I picked this great guy up at the airport on Sunday, one of the first things I told him, Yes, I went back on Saturday and got the tomato plant.

Stupice, indeterminate: This tomato is the first to bear fruit in the summer and the last at frost in the fall. A potato leaf and with a small sized great-tasting tomato, it now stands about 3 1/2 feet tall, has 45 blossoms and two green tomatoes. Now is that not a smart man to whom I am married? This time, he was right. (wink)