For the last year, I’ve been without my own computer. Thanks to the crowdfunding campaign a dear friend ran on my behalf, I was granted money to purchase a new laptop, on which I am delighted to be writing this post.
Last summer was beautiful. I planted crops again. This time I planted the sunflowers in a circle, inspired by an image on facebook which Nicole shared with me. I loved the results, and I’ll be doing that again this year. But at least the first planting will be primarily red sunflowers, as I’ve been commissioned to grow red ones for a wedding! I also grew 7 mammoth sunflowers. They were cool, but on the whole I think I prefer the smaller ones. I tried harvesting the seeds. I rubbed the heads together and that loosened some of them, and picked the rest out of the flower head by hand, with some help from M. But shelling them proved too big a challenge, so I still have most of them in a tupperware. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll plant more this year.
Last year I also experimented with growing Oaxacan green dent corn. Oaxaca is one of the regions in Mexico where corn is thought to have been first bred from teosinte, corn’s grassy predecessor. It turned out gorgeous: gem-like hues of amethyst, emerald, and teal. But it’s the kind of corn you feed to animals or use for tamales. It’s not very tasty eating corn. But I’m glad I tried it. I also planted cherry tomatoes, Purple Cherokees (which I loved in 2012) and Green Sausages. I didn’t like the Green Sausages very much, and I’ll go back to Green Zebras this year. I’m going to plant fewer plants… I always end up with 18-20 and that’s far too many. Maybe 3 bushes each of Purple Cherokee, Green Zebra, and Cherry. And maybe 1 of another kind of red. I also did peas for the first time since I was a kid. They were great. I did a pretty standard variety, and a pretty purple-shelled variety, which had slightly less tasty but still good green peas on the inside. I think I’ll grow some more of those too. I grew basil which thrived pretty well. And last, I tried growing poblano peppers. I took way way way too long to transfer them from 1″ planters to 3″ planters, and again from the 3″ planters to the garden. But you know what? I got peppers anyway! They started flowering in late August, and I found 2-4 inch peppers all the way into October. Even if you mistreat and abandon your plants, you still often get food.
This year, I’m hoping to also grow carrots, spinach, and maybe potatoes or something like that, as well as herb and maybe a few other flowers.