Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
Friday, July 27, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
I am now a big purslane fan and find it amusing I can now forage in my own plot. It comes from the family Portulacaceae, Genus Portulaca, species oleracea. In my garden, it is self-seeding and appears around July.
Of note, purslane contains more omega-3 than any other leafy veggie, thus cementing its status as the most perfect visitor. Wikipedia on purslane:
Purslane contains more omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid in particular) than any other leafy vegetable plant. Research published by Simopoulos states that Purslane has 0.01 mg/g of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). This is an extraordinary amount of EPA for a land-based vegetable source. EPA is an Omega-3 fatty acid found mostly in fish, some algae, and flax seeds. It also contains vitamins (mainly vitamin A, vitamin C, and some vitamin B and carotenoids), as well as dietary minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. Also present are two types of betalain alkaloid pigments, the reddish betacyanins (visible in the coloration of the stems) and the yellow betaxanthins (noticeable in the flowers and in the slight yellowish cast of the leaves). Both of these pigment types are potent antioxidants and have been found to have antimutagenic properties in laboratory studies. 100 Grams of fresh purslane leaves (about 1 cup) contain 300 to 400 mg of alpha-linolenic acid. One cup of cooked leaves contains 90 mg of calcium, 561 mg of potassium, and more than 2,000 IUs of vitamin A.The article also notes when collected early in the morning, it can be tangier due to something called CAM, which is an alternate type of metabolism that purslane turns to in arid conditions.
I am still trying to figure out recipes so if you have a favorite, please leave it in my comments. I eat it raw in yogurt but my favorite way, so far, is to saute it with lots of garlic and extra virgin olive oil and have it taco style or with rice.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Monday, July 23, 2012
Lately, I plant potatoes in containers. This plant is now flowering, which does not always happen, and I don't know why. In the past, I have used 15 gallon containers for potatoes, and it is quite the mystery to me why I have not had good luck with that size. Since downgrading to a smaller size container, I have found the plants to be much happier. They grow tall and overflow the container.
This flower reminds me of its relation to tomatoes and eggplants as they are all in the same family, Solanaceae.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
At home, it continues to darken with orange tints. The seeds will be carefully saved for next year.
Monday, July 16, 2012
I stuck the cuttings in the ground with the very best of intentions. The leaves eventually fell off, and for several months, I carefully watered a pair of sticks faithfully. I wondered if I would have to go off to a garden center in search of coastal concord grape cuttings for next year. I wondered if I would own up to admitting the cuttings dropped all their leaves, and the leaves never grew back. Today, I saw there are leaves and buds bursting off the end of one stick. Glory be. I gratefully postpone that trip to the garden center.
Momotaro, a hybrid, and Black Krim, a Russian heirloom, do well here one block from the beach. However, Black Krim has peaked. I only have a few left while Momotaro is probably close to its peak. Looking below, the center one is Black Krim. Notes to me for next year: plant more Black Krim. I crave Black Krim's smoky and slight salty taste. These I can eat as is, like an apple. They are best, in my opinion, sliced, drizzled with a good extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with a good salt.
The Pineapple Tomato comes from a tomato I bought at the local Farmers' Market a few years ago. I saved the seeds. The last two years, they did not do well at all. They are not well-adapted to growing next to the beach. This year, we have had sunnier and warmer days. This will be the first year I have tomatoes.This one is just beginning to show its true color, which is yellow with orange mottling throughout.
The Sungold is a hybrid. I have only one plant, as it tends to be an overachiever.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
It was foggy and overcast in the morning, a perfect day for a hike, in my opinion. But the clouds melted away very early, leaving blue sky. Either way, foggy or blue, both are good excuses for a hike. Today, I find the Matilija poppies are still in bloom and as photographic as ever. I puzzled over the water drops. Are they dew drops? We haven't had rain in the last 24 hours.
The coastal sequoia planted near the hiking trail show new growth as light green against a dark background. Unfortunately, these shots do not do justice to spurt of new growth on the tips of the branches.
I purposefully did not take photos of the kazillion hikers on the trail, thus leaving the illusion of being out communing with solitary nature.
Friday, July 13, 2012
I love how the hollyhocks pick up the light on a cloudy day. Yes, I know it's due to the UV rays which cause the pigments to flouresce but who cares about the technical reasons. Family Malvaceae, Genus Alcea
I did not have the heart to pull this weed out. I don't know what it except it is likely a Mallow in the family Malvaceae.
Likewise, the squash flowers luminesce as well. To be honest, these were volunteers. I understand that this is risky as seeds do not run true. I believe these are likely to be Japanese squash, kabocha.
So unusual to get rain in the summer in southern California.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
These cute furry tips are likely to be the seed pod.
These flannelbush plants, now flowering, were also planted by the state park or local conservancy. Family: Malvaceae, Genus: Fremontodentron. Needless to say, these native plants are also great for water conserving gardens.
Amazingly enough, there is still running water, albeit algae-ridden, at the top of the hiking trail. It is still shady and green along parts of this hike.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
I add a layer of good organic potting soil in the bottom of the pot then add the potatoes. These are Yukon gold. I moundup as they grow taller. I harvest after the plants die. I like to wait as long as possible though I worry I may get cited for unsightliness.
Funny, with veggie gardening, the esthetics take last place at times.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
I wanted to keep trying. This year, I started seeds in February rather than March. I planted the seedlings in the sunniest warmest corner of my garden.
And there be fruits! I noted these don't yield as much as my hybrids and they aren't as far along as the others. But I'll have late summer tomatoes this year barring a catastrophe. The seeds will be saved again for future years.