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Beet & Shiso Sadness Offset by a Smidge of Cherry Tomato and Fresh Chili

August 14, 2013

So the week following the planting of my beet seeds was exciting, per my last post.  As my seedlings grew (and multiplied – I didn’t know that beet seeds could generate more than one sprout!), I assiduously moved them into the warmer areas of the sunny dining room as well as moving them outside (still in the covered flat) for a few hours every evening after my return from work in order to catch the last warm rays of natural sun.  Things were proceeding fabulously until the Saturday following their planting.

Before I left for my trip to the farmer’s market, I took the flat outside and left it in a sunny spot on the porch.  Several hours later, to my dismay, I returned to wilted and fried seedlings. Not all of them, but enough that it definitely took the bloom off the happy glow generated by my purchase of lovely rainbow trout fillet, double-smoked bacon and mixed greens.  I am a sad beet mom.  The remaining sprouts were hurried back into the relative shade of the dining room and the cloche removed to allow them fresh air and the chance to rejuvenate. Crossing fingers.

Alongside my beets, I also planted some soaked supposed red perilla (shiso) seeds. My planter box of mixed green and red seeds has produced a lovely crop of leafy GREENS.  As a total amateur, I am never sad to see healthy plants, but I am entirely disappointed that apparently none of the red variety germinated. Thus I tried again in the planter flat with solely red seeds.  Unless I am unaware of some special treatment that makes these herbs go purple, I have re-sown in vain. some 9 days later, I have more green sprouts. Sadness again.

My sole joy (aside from my rather flourishing herb garden, including the newly sown fenugreek seeds, is that my one cherry tomato plant is producing delicious, sweet fruit daily. It is a bit of a monster (see below) which may be entirely due to my lack of pruning knowledge. I’ve tried to water regularly, fed it with crushed eggshells and coffee grounds and kept it mulched. It is now rewarding me with treats for Katy’s breakfast and my dinner salads!

Mutant Cherry Tomato

Last but not least (always save the best for last?), I finally used some of my home-grown onions, garlic, bay leaf, oregano and rosemary in a huge pot of chili.  I am rather proud that my garlic has humungous cloves and firm bulbs. My onions didn’t fare as well, being smaller than your average cooking onion, but milder – they didn’t make me cry when I chopped them up. Win!

Homegrown Garlic Homegrown Garlic and my Best Onion Homegrown Garlic vs Store bought Organic

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