Day 25: Tendrils & Tenacity

One of the most amazing phenomena of the garden is that it is simultaneously hearty and delicate.

Let me elaborate.

First, let’s talk about two aspects of heartiness: space and resources. Our garden’s actual footprint is 4 feet by 6 feet, and we have no less than 20 different species of fruits and vegetables living not only harmoniously but thriving in this “cozy” environment.

Additionally, because of all the rain we’ve had in Minneosta of late, we haven’t watered the garden once in the last week. And still, it thrives. This is thanks to the advanced air gap technology which keeps enough water accessible in the reservoir for the plants to drink all they need when they need it, without it seeping too deep down through rocky or sandy soil. The wonders of modern technology — or rather modern technology applied to the ways of yore. We should coin something here…”retro techno” gardening?

I offer the following Day 16 (left) versus Day 25 (right) comparison below for proof of this heartiness.

eco garden blooming

Ok, now let’s talk about the delicacy. And I’m talking about more the how delicious these vegetables will be once we harvest them.

It’s simply awe-inspiring to think about the lifecycle each plant goes through to produce its…well, produce its produce! Each of the little flowers on the plant will eventually become a tasty fruit or vegetable, but the process from germination to proliferation through growth to maturation is so much more. These little plants have journeys of their own, and are so much more than what stocks our refrigerator produce bins and fresh produce aisles at the grocery store.

Excuse the blatant anthropomorphism here. Sorry / not sorry.

Every aspect of the plant has a purpose. The roots deliver nourishment to the entire plant, the leaves facilitate photosynthesis, the flowers are the vehicle for pollination (thus proliferation), and the little tendrils found on so many of the climbing plants help those plants find their place in the world.

The latter feature is one of my favorites. Finding the little tendrils hanging on for dear life to anything they can latch on to is just the cutest — “oooh ver cuuuute” as we say in Minnesooota.

The entire garden is really starting to take shape. The tomatoes are “winning” the harvest race, but they kind of got an unfair start because they were furthest along when we planted them. The broccoli is a close second, the buds are starting to show more of the mature dark green florets. We have one green pepper starting to bloom, the other colors will fool us by starting out green but will change as they ripen.

Our beans are going to pop really soon too, we bought THREE bean plants, so it’s a good thing we like them a lot in our family! As a child, I remember eating fresh green beans from my Grandfather’s garden. I know he would be proud, and I wouldn’t doubt that he’s spending a little time in our garden, or at least watching over it approvingly.

The beets and peas which we planted from seed are doing OK, although we need to thin them out. And the entire garden needs to be weeded, turns out the weeds are pretty happy to have found the Eco Garden as well! This comes with the territory though.

Some of the plants in the herb box are ready to harvest, namely the lettuce. The herbs (cilantro and parsley) are also ready, but again they had the unfair advantage of being “ready” when they were planted.

This week should see some big changes in the garden with the plants starting to “pop” and surely more fascinating phenomena to discover.

Stay tuned…