To date, July has been the hardest month of my challenge of 'eating one home grown thing'. Apart from herbs, the garden has been yielding very little. Last weekend I was very excited to pull up a decent sized carrot! Its my first attempt at carrots in this garden (I have a little sandy corner that I thought might be good for root crops). I have grown a mix of purple and normal and picked them out over the past few months - the poor little purple one is more representative of some of the others I have been harvesting! There are also a few of my 'new' potatoes from the lane. I had a dig in the planter and it is jam packed with spuds, tempting but I think I will leave them just a tad longer.
Japanese radish (daikon) are now an annual fixture in my garden. This plant self seeded and is ready to come out any day. I have another whole row I sowed back in April that will be ready to harvest over the next few months, so my current homework task is to research Japanese pickle making. I am going to need to dust of my Japanese character dictionary and try decipher the pile of Japanese cook books a friend has kindly loaned to help me in my quest.
My asparagus also gave me a surprise 'flush' a few weeks back. To date I have had no luck with asparagus. I think I must have spent around $30 on crowns over the years but I only ever seem to get 2 or 3 spears come up- barely enough to sustain the plant through to the next growing season. I have left these spears in the hope they will serve as good base for the plant that will sprout some more in the spring and give me even just a little taste of home grown asparagus.
Finally I am cautiously optimistic of a healthy crop of snow peas this year. Snowpeas can be hit and miss. On the hit side - peas are cheap and easy to sow (there's always at least one or two pods that get to big- simply dry them and sow the peas the next year). Also on the plus side, buying snowpeas is expensive for a much poorer quality than you get at home. As far as the misses go, too much damp and they succumb to fungal disease and wilt away. Growing from a single stem means all it takes is a snail or slug chewing through the wrong place or wandering chooks having a scratch, yielding similar effects and all your hard work and anticipation comes to nought. But this year it seems like it could be a hit.I have eight healthy plants split between the garden and pots with the very first buds showing on my potted plants. This is strange as these plants get less sun than plants growing on the back fence, yet have grown to the same height and flowered first. Here's waiting for warmer days and the first hint of spring!