Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The October Garden and the White House Lawn

Raindrops on Canna leaf

I love this time of the year. Everything is crisp and refreshed and greening back up again with a little autumn rain. The walk to school with my daughter is wonderful; every morning seems like a new beginning. Here in Texas October is a new growing season, when the garden comes back to life after the hot dry summer. Last night's wonderful rain has made the colors lush and the plants revive.

We have about 20 dark green poblanos on our one pepper plant.

Arugula seedlings

The baby greens are coming up from seed, little bitty Swiss chard, a few romaine seedlings and the arugula. I still have to plant some spinach and some more arugula which I mean to plant every few weeks for a while, so we will continue to have the young tender greens for salads.

We are still getting a couple of okra every day, but they have really slowed down, and I'm sure will bow out to the cool weather soon.

Our globe eggplant plant which gave us only one eggplant this summer now has half a dozen tennis ball sized fruits and more tiny ones forming under calyxes. The slender Japanese eggplant has one fruit and lots of blooms, but I doubt those will have time to do anything before the cold weather gets it.

We have harvested a few San Marzano tomatoes this month and have dozens of green ones all over this one plant that is sprawling all over the garden now. There are more green tomatoes on some of the other varieties of tomatoes, all tangled together with and under the San Marzano...pushy Sicilian!

Tiny tomatoes grown from heirloom seed

The peppers on the jalapeno plant look like red and green Christmas bulbs. We have been picking these constantly, more than we use, all summer and fall.

Speaking of kitchen gardens
, the people at Kitchen Gardens International have been running a campaign to have part of the wide expanse of the White House lawn replaced with an organic vegetable garden. Historically the White House grounds have included a garden; Thomas Jefferson had a vegetable garden and Eleanor Roosevelt planted a Victory garden. Produce would go to feed the people at the White House, First family and staff eating local homegrown organic food, the excess to be donated to a local food bank.

Author Michael Pollan wrote a very thorough article, Farmer in Chief, addressed to the president-elect, in the Sunday New York Times that champions this idea.

KGI's campaign to plant healthy, edible landscapes in high-impact, high-visibility places is called Eat the View.


esque said...

What a great harvest so far! Especially the lettuce! I've only been able to grow one cherry tomato last year - I have no talent for gardening!

Castalia said...

What a great garden! Lucky you! Although we have the space, I haven't planted any vegetables at our new home because of the number of deer that just walk right up to the door.