OK, well, maybe not great success, but I will give myself a small Borat-style high-five. We're finally starting to see some veggies in the Special Olympics Victory Garden! Niiiiice, I liiiiike!
The herbs -- basil, parsley, dill, cilantro, sage, chives, thyme, oregano -- have been doing well, and I've been harvesting the thinned seedlings for salads and other recipes. However, I was skeptical that we had enough hours of sun in the backyard to produce any actual veggies. The tomato, cucumber, and pepper plants have been growing like mad. But I was beginning to think we'd have a bunch of gargantuan plants with no edibles.
Joy! This week, I noticed our first red tomato. This tiny cluster is from the Juliet plant we bought at the Falls Church Farmers Market. Woot! You can see from the picture that the birds have been trying to get at it. (Despite the menacing inflatable snake that ain't foolin' NOBODY.) It's not going to win a blue ribbon at the State Fair. No matter! After carefully photographing it, which I made Mark do because my hands were all muddy, we carefully harvested it, and it's now in the kitchen awaiting a place of honor in a salad of some sort. Hopefully there will be more where it came from. I may live to regret those words... in which case you will ALL be receiving cases of salsa for Christmas this year!
I also noticed that the cukes are starting to proliferate. These are also farmers market plants, which are clearly at home in their back corner of the garden and are threatening to overtake the beans and squash.
I continue to struggle with the southeast corner, which doesn't seem to get enough sun to support anything. Plus it's the lowest, wettest point of the entire yard. I've tried lettuce from seed packets, several times, to no avail. I got a few seedling freebies at a gardening workshop last weekend -- yes, I attend gardening workshops on weekends for fun, are you the least bit surprised at my geekitude? -- so I might put in some cilantro and dill back there to see how it does.
My other struggle is with the compost pile. We've held off buying an expensive rotating composter, and instead used an old plastic trash can. I tried to keep everything manually rotated and aerated, but I let it go for a week or so because of all the rain. And when I opened it up this week it was chock-full o' maggots. Barf! So much for that experiment. I dumped it out in a secluded spot in the backyard and let the birds have a nice lil' picnic. We'll cover it with grass clippings and still have a workable compost pile. Another lesson learned for the Victory Garden files!
* Our Special Olympics Victory Garden (May update)
* Celebrating Joan with the first seedlings of the season (March update)
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