For everything there is a season and this morning it was time to pluck up that which was planted. Specifically, it was time to clear out the second of my two raised beds. I need the space to transplant my overcrowded strawberries from bed number one and I wanted to sow some fall offerings.
So before the sun got unbearable, I started in one corner and worked my way around the bed. The first order of business was to harvest what I could before I ripped up the plants. I tackled the zinnias first, along with some self-sown dill weed.
Then it was the ruby carrots. I know I could have left these in the ground a bit longer and they would have become "teen-aged" carrots, but they needed to come out. I plan on roasting them tonight with a bit of olive oil and Jane's Krazy Salt.
Then the beets. I'll sauté the greens tonight and pickle the beets later this week.
Next, I gathered the ground cherries. I had never heard of ground cherries until Maggie introduced them to me at the Madison (WI) farmers' market. She planted three plants for me last year and this year I bet I had a dozen or more plants that self-seeded. They produce a weird little fruit -- a cross between a tomato and a pineapple in flavor -- that is wrapped in its own little paper. I'm not sure what I'll do with this harvest. It's hard to resist just eating them straight out of their wrappers.
Lastly, I pulled up the already-flowered cilantro and parsley. I noticed the cilantro had produced coriander seeds, which I snipped off and saved. I'm hoping to dry them and use them in an Indian curry.
So once all was harvested, I pulled up the remaining plants and Ed nicely took them away to use as compost on one of our fields. Because the dill, zinnias and ground cherries all self-seeded, I'm hoping I'll find all these plants thriving in our field next summer.
I spread some left-over compost around the garden, then tilled it up and raked it smooth.
I was all set to transplant the strawberries and plant my fall crops when I got a call from Jack, who wanted to skype from China – our first call from him since he arrived in Shenzhen. Needless to say, the planting can wait. It was time to talk with Jack!