As I have mentioned before, gardening in New Mexico can be quite a challenge: horrible soil, worst
drought in years, gale force winds in May and June and into July this
year, intense scorching sun all day, cold nights in April and May,
monsoons in July and August, hungry, thirsty squirrels and other
But today all the effort and hard work of protecting my
growing things began to give me a reward. Not so much the small harvest
of veggies, but more so just the lushness of the vegetation...tomatoes,
squashes, herbs, flowers all sharing space in the garden...it really
made me happy...the reward was emotional...
It broke through a bit of a depression I and hubby both
have been going through. (I guess I could write about that, but not today). Today, the garden made me happy.
So we had home made scacciata a
Sicilian "spinach" pie with Swiss Chard (from the garden) instead of
spinach, sautéed in garlic (from the garden) and olive oil, potatoes
(from the garden), and Italian sausage. With a garden tomato and basil
salad. Trying to do it "Mediterranean" style.
The garlic is not large, but it will do. Plant on the shortest day, harvest on the longest day (approximately).
The four o'clocks are profuse this year.
Sunflower - a volunteer.
Parsley has re-seeded itself every year and is growing wild beyond the fence and outside the garden beds.
Today's harvest included red potatoes which were volunteers, Swiss chard, zucchini, tomatoes, basil, parsley and a handful of green beans (there should be lots more but the squirrel ate the first planting just as they emerged from the soil, so I had to replant.
"Volunteers" are plants that grow in the garden but were not purposely planted by the gardener. In winter I bury kitchen scraps directly in the garden instead of putting them into the compost pile (composting here in New Mexico is almost as challenging as gardening because it is so dry).
So all those peelings from the potatoes, the seeds from pumpkins and squashes and other veggies survive the winter and start growing in the spring.
So this year the volunteers are acorn squash, pumpkin (or is it a pump-cchini?) butternut squash, one tomato plant, red potatoes, zinnias, fennel, parsley.
I'm tempted to "just see what grows" next year and have an "all-volunteer" garden!
Homemade bread and scacciata.