Monday, June 29, 2009

News Flash - Backyard Farm Changes Its Name

to Backyard Borage Farm.

Well not really, but it might have been necessary if I hadn't taken "measures" this weekend. It appeared out of nowhere, overnight, as if by magic. I did introduce it intentionally a couple old years ago, but it has taken a mile from the inch I granted.

Borage is thought to have originated in Syria, and is prolific around the Mediterranean. The flowers are edible and the plant is reported to have been used in soups in Spain, a green sauce in Germany, a ravioli filling in Italy and a cocktail garnish for the Pimm's Cup. Who knew?

The variety in my garden is far to prickly for me to consider eating, but the flowers have made their way into salads and ice cubes at my house.

So an overabundance of the stuff is really not a problem. It is lovely to look out over the cloud of electric blue flowers and sees dozens of bees happily working each blossom. That's the main reason I planted it, to attract pollinators to my squash. And they worked a treat. Speaking of which, the first zucchini have formed. This is a moment of excitement, but also fraught with fear and trepidation.

As anyone who has grown zucchini knows, once they start it is full on until fall. Barbara Kingsolver in her great book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life chronicles, to hilarious effect, the lengths to which she was driven and the devious tactics she employed to disencumber herself from excess zucchini.

In other exciting news, the Manzano peppers have set their first tiny fruits and the Rocotos, started from seed much later, are thriving. I doubt if there will be red Rocotos this season, but we should have early peppers next year from these little troopers.

And it looks like the garlic is ready to harvest. I have grown garlic for the past 3 years and each year I save the heads with the plumpest, biggest cloves for my seed garlic for the next year. So each year it gets better and better. I usually plant the cloves in October / November, let them overwinter and harvest in July.

Here's a page with lots of great information on growing garlic
Gourmet Garlic Gardens

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