Week nine in our garden has brought beauty and blight. The beauty is seen in the photo below of the left side of our garden. Plants look healthy, green, and vibrant. Hidden from this photo are the two squash plants I removed that succumbed to fungus. Typical of south Florida gardening especially when heat and humidity hang on into the growing season. Blight (an airborne bacteria that destroys plants) is beginning to take over the tomato plants so carefully grown from seed. The photo on the right shows a young tomato plant in the foreground I began with a starter plant in the early weeks of planting.
Growing season begins around October 1st in this climate zone. The garden started slowly in the first few weeks while I planted seeds and starter plants. While there are fungal issues and blight spreading, that does not detract from the many vegetables that are growing well. Scallions, lettuces, kale , cucumbers, radishes, carrots, beets, and romanesco, to name a few, are growing well. (Resembling cauliflower, romanesco is an edible flower and part of the cruciferous family.)
Planted yesterday, the carrot seeds will start to show bright, frothy tops in about four weeks. The photo on the lower right shows carrots started from seed after five weeks.
Below is a photo of one of our prettiest plants beginning to bear fruit.
It is a large, gangly tomato plant standing around six to seven feet tall at its highest point. We’ll see if it survives the blight. I suspect it will.
If you have vegetables sitting in your crisper and are not sure what to do with them, try sautéing them lightly in olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste, maybe a squeeze of lemon and a small pinch of red pepper flakes for heat. If root vegetables are on hand, try roasting them. Cutting each vegetable into roughly the same size, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper on a large baking sheet. Roast until tender in an oven 350 to 400 degrees. Roasted vegetables can easily be made into a comforting soup. Blend the roasted veggies with a little broth. Season to taste. Make it a meal and garnish with croutons, drizzle with oil.
Any meal preparation can be done with mindfulness, no matter how simple or how complicated. Try breathing diaphragmatically (deeply into the belly.) Our breath is a gateway to mindfulness.