Swiss Chard, Beets, Garlic and Mesclun, Oh My


Today we spent some time in the garden getting a little dirt under our fingernails. Well, I really was the gopher - going for the seeds and the fertilizer, holding the chicken wire while my brother made a cover for the raised beds. We're hoping to keep the squirrels out. They enjoy terrorizing the garden, digging up the tender mesclun and the just-barely-pushed-through-the-dirt seedlings. It's an ongoing struggle. The entire garden is enclosed to keep the deer out. They like fresh veggies too. Then inside the fenced garden there needs to be cover to keep out the squirrels and bunnies. Everyone eats their veggies in our neck of the woods!

It was a fine day for gardening. The birds were chirping with the exception of a woodpecker who was hammering away, marking his territory. The daffodils and pansies were bright splashes of color - yellow and purple jewels. It was a sunny morning and not too cold for a change. The rain came later on its little rain feet and just in time to water the freshly sown seeds. We planted mesclun, spinach, sugar snap peas and beets. Again. The squirrels had been at work. 

With luck and care, we're looking forward to a good crop of lovely organic vegetables.  


Growing your own edible garden

Growing up we were lucky to have a Mom passionate about growing food.

I didn't appreciate then the tender asparagus shoots each spring coaxed from the hard earth or the lovely ruby red raspberries prized from brambly bush.

While my friends ate slippery. soft canned vegetables, I ate a wide variety of fresh garden treats - Swiss chard, sugar snap peas, asparagus, buttercrunch lettuce and delicate squash blossoms.

I didn't know then the tasty fried squash blooms were an Italian delicacy known as Fiori di Zucca. I probably wouldn't have eaten it!

Even if you haven't much space, you can tend your own edible garden. Mine is not much more than some pots planted with herbs - basil, rosemary and thyme along with mesclun.  Soon I'll add beefsteak tomatoes, Italian green beans, garlic and zucchini.

The edible garden is more relevant than ever. Use your imagination and be inspired by your kitchen.

Brownstone Brooklyn features secret gardens tour

Enter the secret gardens of Brownstone BrooklynCity folk know how precious a postage stamp piece of green can be. Now you can catch a secret glimpse of what people are creating with their glorious green.

Brownstone Brooklyn Garden District presents its self-guided 13th Annual Garden Walk, June 6, 2010, from 11 am-5 pm.

Spend a Sunday afternoon being inspired by the creativity of this neighborhood's urban gardeners. Stops on the tour include single, double and triple-lot city refuges.

Pick up a self-guided map at the corner of Washington Avenue and Lafayette, just outside the entrance to the G train, and enter into a  green wonderland that cannot be seen from the street.

This year's stroll features 15 private gardens in the historic district of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

In addition to private gardens, many of which also feature the artwork of their creators folded into their greenery, the tour includes several vibrant community gardens, a newly planted garden entitled, Symbols, Parables and Healing, sponsored by BBGD in partnership with Teen Challenge, the drug recovery and prevention program at 444 Clinton Avenue, The Pratt sculpture Garden, green graffiti art installations and a Living-Couture Fashion Show in a neighborhood church.

All proceeds from the Garden Walk fund activities that support, encourage and facilitate local gardening, urban farming and environmental art.

Tickets are available in advance for $15 at:

and for $20 the day of the event.  Local ticket outlets will be announced shortly.

photo: BBDG