Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Number One, in more ways than one!

Why am I so self-righteous? We'll start with this eggplant. This is the 3rd year I've grown ichiban eggplants, but somehow I only discovered a week or so ago that ichiban means "number one" in Japanese. I can see why. The plant is beautiful. It appeals to my taste for dark things. The fruit is beautiful, the plant very, very productive and delicious. I became an eggplant convert in large part because of this variety of eggplant. And today, it earned the title number one for one more reason, it is the 1st eggplant, and I have 5, that is producing fruit! I should qualify that by admitting that I had to buy a 6 inch pot rather than 2 inch, which is what all my other eggplants started as.
I consider these sunflowers a triumph too. I have not seen any as big as mine right now. In this instance I may thank the birds and the squirrels for spilling birdseed all over the place. These germinated as soon as the ground was warm and moist enough for their taste. I simply transplanted them here and they survived. I might be the 1st to have sunflowers blooming on my block, if not my neighborhood.
All right, this image does not continue the #1 theme. It's the back of my pick-up and it shows my homemade potting mix. I won't get into a specific recipe. I will only say that this batch has these ingredients, compost, which was already in the truck, peat moss, vermiculite, and agricultural lime. I like to do more than a few pots and it's a lot cheaper to mix my own especially when I buy compost by the cubic yard anyway. I just mix it all up in the bed of my truck as needed. Most people that make their own mix it up in a wheelbarrow. This is more or less what potted soil is.
I love red cabbage, not so much to eat, but as a focal point in landscaping. I can directly acknowledge Joy Larkcom as my influence here. Just a few days ago a little boy asked me about this cabbage. "Is that a cabbage?" he asked while gently petting a very grateful Sally (Sally loves children, unlike the other cats)
"Yes it is!"
"Is it edible?"
What a smart child! That was my #1 moment that day.
I hate to shill myself here, but I'd be quite gratified if you readers would take a moment to answer my survey on the right.
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frazzledsugarplummum said...

Hi Gabrielle,

I posted about your wonderful blog on mine. http://frazzledsugarplummum.spaces.live.com/default.aspx
You and your garden definitely deserve lots of attention.

I love eggplant. Have you had it done as a dip with tahini? Yum. That is an amazing photo. I am dreaming of one just like it. I would be so happy if one day my garden grew up to be even a bit like yours.

Your compost looks good. I don't have a car so am restricted in what I bring in and where I get it. But, my local garden centre does an excellent mix of their own. The plants seem to like it. Great texture.

Love your cabbage...beautiful. I am fascinated by the 'floral' beauty of vegetables and have and hope to have more planted amongst the flowers. Or rather..it is flowers planted amongst the vegetables. This has become a fascinating journey..discovering the beauty of their flowers and the shape of vegetables when you don't mindlessly put them in your shopping trolley. I am a newbie at what their flowers and growing appearance looks like so I really appreciate your fabulous photos. Thanks Gabriells from an admiring new gardener.

Gabrielle Marsden said...

Thank you! I wish I could clone you!
I have done the eggplant dip, love it.

You could probably have someone deliver a cubic yard or meter of compost for you, but that means that you then will have to deal with it, depends on where you can have them drop it off for you. Many people have no option but the street which means you have to move it ASAP. Check around, some will deliver 1/2 a load. It ends up being cheaper than getting a little at a time though initially it is a lot of work.
If I lived where you are I could deliver it for you!

I love cabbage, and as I said, I was influenced by Joy Larkcom. You should find some of her books. I think she is under-represented.