Oh so Okra

Bhindi” , known in many English-speaking countries as ladies’ fingersokra or gumbo, was a member of the garden plot in the summer of 2015for Him and Her. It certainly didnt dissapoint, nor was it easily tamed.

Being a very sturdy plant, except against a frost and colder temperatures, the harvest value is the seed pods.

In cultivation, the seeds can be soaked prior to sowing them. Him and Her reserved two square feet on the garden plot, and seeds were not soaked before sowing them in rows.

Germination occurs between a week to three weeks according to www.

However, waiting and watering the soil, together with keeping a check on any weeds is a good idea.

The plant grows to around 2m tall with significant and pleasantly colored flowers.

The flowers have white to yellow petals,  with a red or purple spot at the base of each petal.

The seed pods rapidly become fibrous and woody, and, to be edible, must be harvested quickly.

Okra is a popular food due to its high fiber, folate and vitamin C content.

The products of the plant are mucilaginous, resulting in the characteristic “goo” or slime when the seed pods are cooked. A dash of lime is known to help reduce the sliminess. Or cook them quickly like a stir fry.Smaller and the more tender ones can be stuffed with some spice powders mixed with salt and lime juice, and pan roasted.

Little Calendar 

Calendula is a genus of about 15–20 species of annual and perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy family Asteraceae.

News is that its aka Marigolds —  Him and Her even bought a few marigold plants separately for the garden plot.

Calendula species have been used traditionally as culinary and medicinal herbs. The petals are edible and can be used fresh in salads or dried and can be used as a coloring agent too.

Calendula oil is still used medicinally as an anti inflammatory.

Reading up , now realize the numerous other benefits of the Calendula plant. Apart from the various medicinal and culinary services, it doubles up as a companion plant too.Best planted between rows of plants, its scent wards of various pests.

The bright yellow colors of the flower is sunshine in the sunshine. This adds so much color to compliment the green surroundings.

Heres the color of summer, started from the seeds sown a little into spring.

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Welcome spri(n)g

The first signs of green , cultivated in the backyard after moving to Zone8/9.

Due to few days of afternoon sunshine, though intermittent in March/April, with plenty showers, the fenugreek (Methi) sprouted and reached to harvest in a couple of weeks. Soaked the seeds overnight and spread them in the pot which helped fasten the process of sprouting.
Rains and the cloudy weather welcomed some guests , evident in this pic…snails galore!
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Deep rooted – Carrots

The carrot (Daucus carota) is a root vegetable, usually orange in color, though also has different other colors at times as seen in markets.

The most commonly eaten part of a carrot is a taproot.

Started from the seeds, Him and Her read up several information sites and decided to have about 16 plants per square feet for carrot. Spacing the tiny specks of seeds wasn’t done to precision, which is quite plausible.

Later readings and www helped to realize that a mix of the seeds with some grains of sand does well to space out the seeds comfortably.

Ensure to thin out once the saplings are out and about. This is required to have a “carrot” shaped “carrot”  harvest !

With the rocky terrain of the garden plot, inspite of a lot of cleaning the stones before start of gardening, there were carrots that grew around and about the stones/pebbles underground and this posed a challenge in cleaning the crop after harvest.

Heres the first bunch of harvest….Cleaned and spruced up for a picture!
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Full House – members

In the post, “Full House” , the herbs and plants grown in the raised bed were displayed. To note, they were not pruned and allowed to grow in full splendor, and treated as a kitchen garden.

Heres a list of the herbs/veggies/flora that were part of the raised bed and around it:

  1. Mint
  2. Dill
  3. Basil (Lots of it)
  4. Okra
  5. Chilli
  6. Tomato
  7. Jasmine (Being the friendly neighbor)

Him and Her got a small mint stalk from the temple visited in Peoria, IL and reserved a square in the raised bed . Dill, Basil were from packet of seeds purchased at the nearest Walmart/Meijer. Okra was accompanying the wild one (the tomato). Jasmine was His surprise to Her on a pleasant weekday evening, sapling purchased from a local nursery.

 

 

 

Deep purple

 

 Cabbage is a leafy green or purple plant, grown as an annual vegetable crop for its dense-leaved heads.
It belongs to a broad family of common vegetables that also include brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale and broccoli.
Him and Her allocated one square feet for purple cabbage.
Since it was a first time, it made sense not to give in to the risk factor and allocate more squares for this vegetable.
Square foot gardening technique usually works more efficiently when you grow what you know you will eat. So dedicate more to veggies that are for sure staples at the dining table.
Moreover, the seed starter process was indoors, and one sapling survived well after being transplanted in the garden plot.
Cabbage structurally consists of clusters of stiff leaves  in compact layers, allowing it to acquire round shape.
The vegetable crop  catches the eye once its out and about during the formation of the layers.
Successful in the harvest of the purple cabbage, it was treated as a star in the kitchen.
Have to admit, the crunchiness was amazing.

Seed Starters – Peas tomatoes

Its going to be hibernation time for most colder parts of the USA with winter fast approaching.

What better way to stay warm than to write up on summer experiences.

So here we continue on The Green Valley  gardening experiences.

One useful learning was to ensure prompt labeling. With different varieties of every vegetable, its easier to forget the spacing requirements later while transplanting.

To note, the peas didn’t do too well during transplanting. Tomatoes were hardy and we had more saplings to share with friends too.