We had our first major harvest in the square foot garden recently: French breakfast radishes. Some were misshapen, others were puny, but the bottom line is that they grew at all! Not that this harvest was huge anyway. After all, this was only a 1'x1' crop, so the radishes were gone by the end of lunch. Such is the life of a square foot gardener.
Above is your basic combination of radishes with butter and sea salt on a baguette. This was pretty scrumptious, but you how can you go wrong with Plugra and Maldon sea salt? The creamy, rich butter tempered the peppery radishes. Smooth, crunchy, and delicious.
With the other half of the bunch, I made radishes with bagna cauda (recipe here). This was easy and pretty fantastic. You simply warm extra virgin olive oil with garlic, salt, and anchovies, and then spoon the mixture over the radishes. I've never made bagna cauda before, but I'm sure that I'll be making it again soon with other crisp, raw vegetables.
In other news, I made a batch of pesto using the basil from the garden, and we picked and ate the endive. After reading this New York Times article on starting beans in mid-summer, I decided I wasn't too late to give it a try. I built a wigwam out of bamboo and planted "Garden of Eden" pole beans. In another square, I planted Isar yellow filet beans, a bush bean.
Finally, to give the boxes some visual interest, I added some stepping stones around the perimeter and planted creeping thyme and silver thyme.
The roll call, box-by-box (and row by row, left to right):
· The Cherokee tomato plant keeps growing.
· The Sweet 100 cherry tomato plant, the only hybrid of the tomato plants, suddenly withered and died. I replaced it with a green zebra plant that had been growing in a nearby pot.
· The cucumber plants continue to grow super-fast, heading towards the top of the fence.
· Red chard is coming along (slowly).
· Basil remains strong.
· The orange pepper plant died too. Here's where the wigwam and pole beans went.
· Arugula continues to grow. I scattered some additional seeds to "cut and come" as they say.
· I pulled up the frisee, ate it, and planted some more.
· I found a new home for the Greek oregano elsewhere. In its place, I've planted an Asian green salad mix.
· Vintage wine tomatoes are growing.
· Brandywine vine has continued to grow.
· Hillbilly tomato plant is growing rapidly.
· The finger eggplant is revealing its first fruit -- three baby eggplants are growing down.
· I moved the rosemary out and planted some more radishes in its place.
· I moved the Italian large leaf basil out and planted bush beans.
· The spicy/globe basil does not stop growing.
· Beets are coming along.
· Having picked the radishes, in went seeds for carrots.
Stay tuned for more updates, or follow along as I post photos of the garden's progress on flickr.