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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

October 8, 2014
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a.k.a. a re-cap of the Villa Linnea vegetable patch from the 2014 season: what grew well, what did not and what did we learn.

Let’s remember what was the starting point:

Vegetable patchAn empty canvas. I didn’t really have a plan of what to plant, so whatever seeds happened to be at hand in the shop went in the ground. Thus we planted carrots, 4 types of salad, parsley, radish, thyme and rosemary, and of course the potatoes.

This is another shot at the height of the season:

Vegetable patch 1

I think without a doubt the potatoes were a big success, the biggest of this year!

Potatoes 1Not only were we completely astonished that the potatoes grew at all, but how well! We will definitely grow some more next year, probably even more than we did this year.

The second biggest success was the salad:

Vegetable patch 4All of the salad grew beautifully, for over two months we ate only homegrown salad. Unbelievable! Even though the salad was great a definite learning is that do not plant all of the seeds at the same time. We planted everything around the same time in April/May, which of course means that everything grows at the same time. Next year we’ll definitely plant lots of salad again but spread it a bit, time-wise that is. Plant some every couple of weeks, which will prevent salad overflow and allow us to enjoy the fresh produce for a longer time.

Next up was parsley:

Vegetable patch 2It grew beautifully and we had plenty of it! I think too much… We really didn’t know what all to use it for, so some of it ended up staying in the ground, as well as given away. A learning for next year is not to plant all the seeds in the packet as we don’t need that much, only half or even only a third will do.

Vegetable patch 3Vegetable patch 5Rosemary was a new experiment, which worked out. However again the problem of “I don’t really know what to use this for”… So I ended up picking all of  the lovely stems and drying them in the Villa kitchen. They smell really great and I can use them dried throughout the winter. I might grow them again next year, or then try another herb. The jury is still out on that one.

We also had some lovely carrots. As I didn’t weed them enough in the beginning of the growth season there wasn’t much room for the carrots to grow so we had baby carrots, like last year. But they were good! Everything grown in your own garden really tastes great, completely different from store bought or even from the local farmer. Definitely carrots again next year, but must really weed them out earlier so we’ll get a bit bigger ones.

Thyme is also always very reliable, I don’t think you can do anything wrong with that one. But much like the parsley, one packet of seeds is more than enough for our needs. Next year need to remember to plant only a third…

What didn’t work out? Radishes. The stems were growing very nicely and looked promising. Early July I even snagged one big radish out of the ground and it tasted great. Actually I almost twisted my ankle running down the hill to tell the Other Half and give him a chance to taste it. Turns our that was the only radish we got this year… Otherwise the radish just grew the stems, longer and longer and longer, until I pulled them all out. So let’s see if we give the radish another chance next year…

So in summary it was a good “growing season”: I enjoyed the experience as well as the end products. It’s also great to teach the Boy and the Girl a bit about how vegetables come to our plates (not just magically bought from the shop). Looking forward to next year’s produce already, but not quite ready with the plan yet 🙂

p.s. there were also all sorts of little animals in the soil in the vegetable patch, this was the most interesting one. What is it, anyone?

Vegetable patch 6

 

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