Friday, June 4, 2010

Planting Vegetables with Flowers

Another great week of CSA delivers. I have the best members, they are so wonderful to email me how much they have enjoyed our produce. Some have mentioned how they prepared the items in the baskets and in the newsletter I have prepared for next week, I am including a recipe that one CSA member wants to share with the rest of our members.
This week in the baskets was kale, Swiss chard, French radishes, beets, snow peas, lettuce, cherries, apricots, basil, rosemary, thyme, and sage. Next week we will have pretty much the same items but the cabbage may be ready and I have some Rosa plums to add along with the other fruit.
Celli, our daughter made these adorable and practical basket liners out of the cutest fabrics. With the warmer weather coming, we thought the fabric liner will help keep the produce as fresh as possible and be able to keep the sun off of the items when they may be sitting on the member’s front porches. I tied the tops of the fabric with an old fashioned clothes pin so there was air circulating through the baskets delivered this week and it helped keep the moisture inside. Celli is so talented and she sewed a huge amount of them all within a few days so they would be ready for my deliveries. And they are reusable!!
While I was watering yesterday, I was looking at a few containers I have around my flower gardens near the house, and marveled at how much the plants had grown. This year, in the few places I normally plant annual flowers, I decided to plant vegetables. Like I don’t have enough land already planted in vegetables, but I wanted to provide a test, that it doesn’t take a lot of space, time or money to provide food for a family.
On the side of the garage, I have a squash plant ready to bloom planted right next to mum plants and a delphinium. In an old wheel barrow being thrown away, I planted lettuce and spinach. I took an idea from a friend of mine about using water troughs for large animals as planting containers. I found one recently at a farm sale where the bottom was rusting and had a few holes. Not good for watering horses, but excellent for drainage of soil and plants. I picked it up for $15.00, filled about 1/3 of it with broken clay pots, some potting mix and great Gridley soil and within less than an hour, it was planted as my herb garden. In some decorative pots by the back door that had inpatients in them last year, I planted kale and arugula. Right now the arugula has the most beautiful blossoms and most people coming to our door; don’t even realize that it is lettuce, not a plant. I have my most commonly used herbs planted next to the back door, along the house, under my rose bushes and butterfly bushes. It is great to have them so handy to go out and pick them as I am fixing dinner. The basil is always my favorite and I have that planted everyplace there is an opening in my flower beds. I believe you can never have enough basil and it can quickly make plain old pasta into a fabulous tasting dinner.
If you are going to have a spot where you are going to water, plant something you can eat AND the flowers, it will be a winning combination-food and beauty. Happy planting!!

1 comment:

Happy Chick Farm said...

Great photos Paula and isn't wonderful to reuse old stuff to grow new stuff in? Your place looks great. Love your CSA boxes and thank you thank you for the great produce and fresh fruit! When I received my first CSA box from you my folks were here. They spent 3 months many years ago in the south of France in a farmhouse. Every where around them were wild cherry trees. They enjoyed it so much. But then they tasted Windmill Farm cherries. They said that those cherries were the best ever...Thanks Paula