Houston Sustainable Food Gardeners

A forum dedicated to discussing how to easily grow organic food sustainably and inexpensively year-round in urban Houston settings, in individual and community vegetable gardens. Other food related issues are also discussed.
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 Reaping the benefits of VERY relaxed food gardening!

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Grape Vine
Grape Vine

Posts : 112
Points : 260
Join date : 2010-06-04

PostSubject: Reaping the benefits of VERY relaxed food gardening!   Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:31 pm

Still in the whirlwind of the fall planting season, I get busy helping neighbors, friends, and acquaintances get their gardens up and running....leaving little time to baby my own! (I should be out there now instead of posting but my back could use a break.)

Thanks to my year round 'slothyness' (letting greens go to seed) I none-the-less have lots of different types of plant-sowed 'winter' greens growing and ready for harvesting (in addition to the bit I personally sowed.)

Many gardeners are too eager to pull up 'old' plants.
By letting at least a few of each of your greens flower and go to seed you get to enjoy beautiful free flowers, help out the bees, and reap greens that regrow at the right time next year.

Most fall planted greens can be continually harvested from the same plants all winter.
At some point in the spring they will start to bolt and flower. As you pull out the plants, when they have finished flowering and the seed pods are dry, the 'spilled' seeds lay around in the dirt over the summer and will start to grow with the late summer/fall rains. The old plants are crumpled up and layered on top of the beds as mulch and in situ compost.

Plant sowed greens in my garden now include:
Green Zen, Broccoli Rabe, Mustard, Chickweed, Cultivated Dandelion, Cilantro, and Radish.
Latter in the season, free endives will arrive!

Related facts:

The leaves from mustard that is flowering are smaller and a different shape, but just as delicious!

The small heads of unopened flower buds in all the Brassicaceae family are edible (similar to broccoli or rabe).

If the plant-sowed plants start to grow in the 'wrong' place harvest and eat!

In an organic garden with dirt rich in organic matter old plants do not pose a disease problem.

Also: ALL pepper plants are perennial! Do not pull them up at the end of the season. If they make it through the winter chills you will likely get earlier and heavier yields the next year!

Lunch today:

Pan seared mix of plant-sowed greens- mustard, green zen, and rabe. With leftover polenta (made with milk, water, nutmeg, salt, and a little grated cheese). I like it a little soupy. After reheating the polenta was sprinkled with some fresh oregano and some leftover caramelized onions (balsamic vinegar, salt, black pepper, thyme). Herbs from the garden.

And last but not least a Satsuma orange from a tree I helped plant years ago at Roberts Elementary!

Back to work........
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