September 22, 2011

Almost the End of Summer Vegetable Gardening/夏の野菜作りもそろそろ終わり

I don't want to talk much about my experience in vegetable gardening in spring and summer this year. In spring, I failed to grow four different plants, including mitsuba, in planter boxes in my yard. The seeds didn't even sprout! I don't know why. Maybe the seeds that I bought at the 100-yen shop were of low quality.

And, my rented farm is a good example of bad management! I was unable to attend to it every two or three days, like I did previously, as you can see from the amount of weed in and around the farm.

One okra plant in the middle:
I had uprooted three others because they had no pods.

Malabar spinach:
Still sending out young shoots.

Several varieties of tomato and cherry tomato:
including Home Momotaro, Tomato Berry, Aiko, Pinky, and Vitamin Ace from Del Monte.


Last Tuesday, I went to the farm a little before eight in the morning, came back home at around ten, and started washing and boiling all the harvest.
Malabar spinach:
Okra pods, together with the ones harvested previously and put in the fridge:
This is all that I got that day.
It was almost noon when I finished all the preparations (such as putting tomatoes in bags, cutting boiled Malabar spinach, and chopping boild mulukhiyah leaves) and washing the bowls and colanders.

Notice that all the three vegetables, okra, Malabar spinach, and mulukhiyah, are slimy ones. They are good as ohitashi and in soup!


Fräulein Trude said...

As we lived in the city I rented a farmland-garden (for about 15 years), eager to grow all kinds of healthy organic vegetables and fruits for my kid. It was always some kind of trouble to keep the plants in good shape and win the war against weed and bugs. I felt guilty to laze around or I did'nt make it because I had too much to do with work and kid or I did too much and got a bad back. In spring I usually did a lot of gardening, all weekends were dedicated to gardening and end of summer I was angry because there was no harvest (lost to bugs and weed or deseases/weather) or the harvest was too big :-) Than I recalculated the return of invest considering rent, time, cost of seeds and plants, bug prevention, fun no fun and decided no more! Lucky, I now live in a house with garden but I don't grow many vegetables at all. It is a garden to laze around (laugh).

Hiroyuki said...

Kiki: These vegetables are my answers when I ask myself these questions:
1. Do my family like eating it?
2. How much do I have to pay for it if I buy it at the supermarket?
3. Can I grow it easily?
and the most important factor is:
4. Are store-bought ones as good as the ones I grow myself?
For example, store-bought cherry tomatoes cannot compare with the ones I grow. They may look good, but they usually fall short of my expectations in flavor.

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, I am so sorry some of your plants haven't even sprouted (do you remember how difficult it was fro me to make mitsuba sprout? I managed only thanks to your advice...).
I am so neglecting with my mini-garden on the balcony that I don't even try to find a rented garden... Your vegetables must taste great and I definitely agree about the tomatoes. I had some cherry tomatoes on my balcony last year. They were the best cherry tomatoes in my life!
(The momotaro variety is called like this because of its yellow colour?)
I also think that, apart from the taste, the self-grown produce is precious and unconsciously tastes better than for example the one offered by a neighbour :-)
Then, as Kiki says, everything depends on the rental price...

Fräulein Trude said...

Yes, yes tomatoes taste simply the best when picked from the plant a few mintues ago. They always have so much more flavour then the commercial breed - I wonder why. We already decided on more plants next year.

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Home Momotaro is a red tomato (not a cherry tomato). Mamotaro is the most popular variety of tomato in Japan, and Home Momotaro is a variety for home gardens.

Kiki: I'm looking forward to seeing your produce next year!

muskrat said...

Hiro-san, I think you are being too hard on yourself!
おいしそう! Its a lot of work to keep a garden, and even if your garden isn't the prettiest, all of those healthy vegetables are so worth it! I personally LOVE home-grown tomatoes. They're my favorite!

Hiroyuki said...

muskrat: Thanks for saying so, but I really am nothing as compared with serious vegetable gardeners. I like home-grown tomatoes, too, as well as home-grown mulukhiya!