It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Brassica oleracea

Kale, beautiful kale. This year was the first time I have grown kale in my garden. To be honest, it’s the first time in my life that I have ever eaten kale as well (to the best of my knowledge). I love leafy greens such as chard, spinach and those delectable dainty salad greens such as arugula, but had surprisingly never been enticed by kale. Now I love it!  It is such an incredibly lush looking specimen with its large blue-green leaves. I am fascinated by its natural waxiness that makes water bead and roll off its leaves upon contact. Yes, I enjoy the little things in my daily life to the extreme. Makes me appreciate the world around me more when I take the time to notice the minute details.

Solanum melongenm

Aubergine, brinjal, eggplant.

I have learned so much this season.  I knew that the eggplant is a member of the nightshade family – a relative of tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. I knew this because, according to a naturopath I consulted with years ago, I was to avoid all members of the nightshade family. Guess I don’t follow advice very well, eh?  I am nutty for nightshades but try to keep my consumption moderate. I used to eat tomato sandwiches every day for a period of time when I was in my 20’s until I realized this was a reason I felt “off”.  Everything in moderation.

Yes, that is an arm in the background not part of the plant. This is an eggplant, not an arm-plant.

I recently learned that the eggplant is not actually a vegetable, but a fruit. I was aware that tomatoes are fruits but never considered the eggplant anything other than an intriguing  veggie. Not only is the eggplant a fruit but (wait for it)…it is a berry! Say what?  The plant world is fantastic, isn’t it?

The lovely eggplant is not a powerhouse of nutrients but does contain fiber and antioxidants.  Plus, it’s nice to shake up the variety of vegetables on offer at the  dinner table.

Cucumis sativus

My cucumber plant is going berserk. It took a bit to get going at the beginning of the season then just took off. I would normally have pinched it off but since it seems to be doing so well on top of the pergola I think I’ll just let it do its thing.  My daughter asked me recently if the cucumber was in the same plant family as squash. She was “bang on”. Squash, melons and cukes are all part of one big happy family.

Useful for so much more than munching on or slapping on your eyes when they are puffy or tired, cucumbers are very versatile.

– cucumber can be used to quickly shine shoes and repel water
– tightens collagen in the skin for instant firming action
– it is suggested that cucumber skin can erase pen, marker or crayon – I haven’t tested this one so try at your own risk
I love cucumber in a glass of water on a hot day instead of lemons or limes. 

Capsicum annuum “Tequila Sunrise”

I am so excited to taste this variety of pepper. It looks so spectacular against the green leaves.

Lycopersicon esculentum  

The tomatoes are starting to ripen. We have harvested a couple of bowls full at this point with a plethora left to pluck upon ripening. I have been enjoying the “chocolate” variety over the past week. I love the subtle differences between the varieties. The distinguishable tastes, acidity, texture differences…oh my!

This truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

“The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.”     ~Hanna Rion


8 thoughts on “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

  1. What a lovely post to wake up and read first! Tomatoes, eggplant, melons, corn and cucumber are the hardest to grow in the coastal microclimate we are in. I didn’t even attempt eggplant which is the shortest growing season. But, I’m giving it my absolute best effort on the rest, this first year of gardening. I got a few ears of corn, which I peel and ate right from the stalk. I planted 5 varieties of tomatoes, and find it fascinating as well, though I got blossom end rot on the Brandywine, my biggest plant. You know that if you are looking at my posts. 🙂 And I love the quote, beautiful! – Kaye

  2. Thank you for your exuberance where my post topic is concerned!

    Last year I struggled with blossom end rot as well. In my case I attribute it to the fact that I re-used some of my large pots and hadn’t disinfected them properly before use – just dumped the old soil and added the new without scrubbing them and leaving them in the sun for a couple of days. So far so good this year. No pests or disease to speak of in the garden…phew!

    I am reading your posts and find they are inspiring and thorough. I love that you are experimenting with your plant selection. I too love to eat corn raw, right after it’s picked. I have never grown corn personally but i think you’ve possibly tempted me to give it a go next year. When my kids were really little they used to want to help shuck the corn so they could eat it immediately. Good memories.

    • You are always welcome in the garden, my friend. Although you certainly would startle me if I saw you sneaking around! 😉

      Next time I visit you I will bring you some eggplant or whatever else is available for the pickin’.
      See you soon(ish)!

    • It’s always such a drag when animals eat our plants, isn’t it? Sorry to hear you didn’t get to enjoy your kale.

      I have a rabbit here that I have been battling with off and on this summer. Last week he chewed through the base of one of my pole bean plants, killing the entire thing. The rabbit also made fast food of my second crop of bush beans that I had planted due to him devouring the first crop. Darn rabbit!

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