ShopperAnnie’s Veggie Adventure

After 24 years of cultivating clay into useable soil for perennials, hostas and ornamental grasses, this  year I  convinced “the boys” to build a frame garden so I could organically grow herbs and veggies in something other than repurposed flower pots.

Meet the boys (as in men). My son Adam, nephew Tommy, both 22, born just days apart. Adam is the figure-it-out guy, who laid out the materials list and organized the building plan. Tommy is the organic man, a young farmer at heart who I’m teaching how to cook. He started some of the seedlings and became adept with the power tools quite quickly!

In three hours, the frame was done and lined with landscape fabric. Then, they took a truck to the Beverly Hills Village offices and loaded up compost to fill the frame. Thank you strong young men, for I would have no garden without your efforts. 🙂

This was a very proud moment!

And we’re off to a great start. The soil, further enriched with compost from my backyard operation & a little organic bagged gold, is fantastic. Lot’s of growing going on…and lots of great colors and textures to enjoy.

I love those little beanie babies!
Nature's hues are the best.

We’re off to the races. Just look at our first little dinner harvest. The bok choy was prolific and so tender!

 Today is 8/29 and we are still getting a harvest of yellow beans every two weeks. I pick them at lunch and dip them in hummus!

In June, the garden was growing up VERY quickly. We had to travel for twelve days for a wedding, before we left I was begging my neighbor to harvest and enjoy whatever was ready to go.

all crops looking good!!

When we got home in late June, the garden was really overgrown but we enjoyed the early harvest. Then we yanked up the golden beets, the bok choy and the lettuces, replacing with brussel sprouts, radishes and fennel. The freaking groundhog that ate my brussel sprouts thanks us; we in turn sprayed what he didn’t eat with home-brewed cayenne chili pepper spray, which sent him packing.

Of course, he returned after several rain events and managed to eat a few bites of heirloom tomatoes until I staked all my three of my tomato plants up and out of his reach, adding my peony cage barriers to keep him at bay!

These San Marzano's escaped the groundhog feast!

In July, we had some hot muggy weather and before long, all four of my squash plants were in trouble. After weeks and weeks of gorgeous blossoms, the plants were mildewed, not bearing fruit and looked to be infested with nematodes, despite the fact that I bought them from an organic farmer.  We treated and prayed to no avail. Bummed, we yanked them out and threw them in the trash, not willing to infest our own compost piles. ;-(

In August, we backed off the daily watering, and added more compost from the backyard for nutrients.

My Dad made my chicken wire sifter almost 15 years ago!

My favorite part of gardening is the evening visit with the kitchen scissors, snipping and sniffing my way around the greek oregano, lemon and orange thyme, the varieties of basil, parsley and sage, imagining how I’ll season whatever we’re having for dinner.

I just found a recipe for grilled pancetta and fennel salad. My funky fennel is about ready to show it’s stuff.

I love the texture of this funky fennel!


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