Look! I have grown vegetables!
Aren’t they beautiful? Yes, I think so, too.
Actually, this is my second harvest.
My first harvest consisted of one yellow bean. I thought about photographing that for you, too, but decided that you would possibly find my excitement a little bit sad.
I ate it raw. The bean, not the excitement.
Anyway, as you can see, I am now harvesting several beans at once – indeed, the state of my bean bushes makes me suspect I am going to be wading knee-deep in them shortly – as well as salad greens of divers kindes and also radishes in several colours. Let me tell you, those heirloom radishes are possibly my favourite thing to plant ever. For one thing, you put the seeds in, and they germinate in mere days! This is very reassuring. And then they are pretty much ready to harvest in six weeks. This is good for my tendency towards instant gratification. But best of all, they come in about a dozen different colours, shapes and sizes, thus making them excellent fun to pick! And then you can just eat them out of hand, or stick them into a salad with the beans and salad greens, to go with dinner. That’s good too.
Actually, I have to say, root vegetables in general are my favourite things to grow. I love the surprise factor of digging them up and finding out what they look like. Carrots, admittedly, are rather frustrating – I’m not good at getting them to grow from seed, and they don’t transplant well from seedlings – but beetroot, now, beetroot is fabulous. You can eat the roots *and* the leaves, which I find intrinsically exciting, and you can get heirloom mixes of golden, white, red, or pink and white striped beetroot. Not only does this give you the opportunity to make luridly coloured foods like beetroot gnocchi (and if you ever want to serve up something that looks utterly gruesome, try adding beetroot greens to an omelette. It looks like something died in your frying pan. Very, very recently. I have rarely been so delighted…), the golden beetroots are sunshine yellow inside, and the pink and white stripey ones are just plain pretty.
Of course, then you get the evil side of the root vegetable family. I am referring, of course, to Jerusalem artichokes. (I found another ten seedlings today…) I’m a bit torn on the subject, to be honest. On the one hand, you get insane giant sunflowers that grow like triffids. And they do taste delicious – somewhere between artichoke and potato. And I’m told they are great for the soil – assuming they leave you any. Because, of course, not only do they grow like triffids, they come back. And while they are delicious to eat, they are monstrous to prepare. You need to peel or scrub them, and they are shaped like particularly knotty ginger roots, which does not make this easy. I am planning to keep some of the seedlings. Just not necessarily the dozens and dozens I am getting at present.
But Jerusalem artichokes are a problem for winter, in any case. Right now, I’m rejoicing in my radishes. And my beautiful yellow beans, of course…
(I don’t suppose I can interest anyone in a Jerusalem artichoke seedling? Anyone…?)