Greens, Roots, Beans, Fruits

As a kid, I learned at least one rhyme about beans and (musical) fruits, but I just came across another that might be a little more practical as an adult:

greens, roots, beans, fruits

It refers to crop rotation, or the idea that you shouldn’t plant the same veggies in the same spot season after season or year after year. This little rhyme helps keep you straight about the order of what should follow what.

Greens: lettuces, spinach, kale, mustard greens, chard, herbs, etc. followed by …

Roots: beets, carrots, turnips, potatoes (I know, it’s a tuber; just go with it), followed by …

Beans: beans (go figure), peas, peanuts, and other legumes, followed by …

Fruits: Tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, corn, melons, cucumbers, followed by greens … and so on and so on.

I found it as I was researching what I should plant in the potato bed after I harvest them (hopefully early next week!!1!11!) So, this handy rhyme tells me I would benefit from next planting some kind of legume in the potato bed. To that end, I’m going to do a whole mess of some fast maturing bush beans, Heavy Hitter variety, which are 54 days to harvest.

And then after that … well, I’m not 100% sure. See, I think I’ll have some broccoli starts by then to put in around mid-September, which I’ll coddle and cover into the colder months. But the one thing this rhyme doesn’t account for is brassicas like broccoli and cauliflower. Are they greens or fruits? They’re heavy feeders, so I think in the spirit of the intention, they should probably be classified as fruits, in which case I’m golden! I’ll put some lettuce there in the spring and I’ll have completed one cycle of the rhyme. Let’s look:

Roots: Potatoes (harvest July 2015)

Beans: Bush beans (harvest September 2015)

Fruits: Broccoli (harvest late October/early November 2015)

Greens: Lettuce (harvest spring 2016)

I’ll be applying this plan around the garden, along with various intercropping strategies, like planting peas (beans) with carrots (roots), for tomatoes (fruits) with basil and lettuce (greens), etc. Three cheers for mnemonic devices.

Also, totally unrelated,  here is a poorly-lit, fuzzy picture of a cocktail in a Griffin beaker (genius!) from TownHall, a fabu restaurant committed to non-GMO foods here in Cleveland (Ohio City to be specific).

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Beaker aside, what’s most notable is that it is garnished with a sprig of thyme. All of you herb gardeners out there, if you’re like me, you love thyme and use it fresh, and also dry it for the winter. Yet, you still end up with WAY too much thyme.  Solution: Throw it in a drink. To help you with inspiration, this was a cocktail featuring rhubarb simple syrup, pineapple juice and vanilla vodka. Yum and fun!

Also seen around Cleveland:

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Your guess is as good as mine.

You Can Take the Girl Out of the Garden …

A while back, Chefie’s boss was kind enough to give us a couple of free tickets to a “taste of Cleveland” fundraiser featuring small bites from tons of Cleveland restaurants. Yes, please! It was a lovely affair held at the The Crawford Auto-Aviation Collection museum, and the food was great, but I found myself getting most excited by the micro-herb and micro-green garnishes. It was a good reminder that when you’re faced with the kinda grim task of thinning plants, you should at least eat them!

I was only able to snap one picture from Kosar’s Wood Fired Grill (few things are more Cleveland than Bernie Kosar. Go Browns!). The food was great, even if the picture wasn’t:

thinning plants

But see those purple micro-greens on top? I’d guess purple cabbage or purple cauliflower. Whatever it was, it was pretty and delicious.

Also? A DeLorean:

thinning plants

Also also? A 1926 Jordan, one of the first RVs – err, “House Car.”

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thinning plants

Doesn’t the term “House Car” just bring you back to childhood when you would make up all sorts of wonderful combinations? “I want a Trampoline Bed. And also a Tiger Pony. And a House Car.”

Also also also? This thing, one of the very first automobiles:

thinning plantsReminds me a bit of my wheelbarrow!

They also had a restored carousel from the historic Euclid Beach park, but after all the tasty bites and wine sips, Chefie and I thought maybe we’d better pass on the whole whirling around thing. What a fun evening, and it proves that no matter where you go, there’s always a bit of garden inspiration.

Jardin Tour: EDWINS

Our dear family friend, K, (hi K!) was breezin’ through town recently at the start of his fourth-month trek westward, so we had occasion to enjoy an exquisite meal at EDWINS restaurant to visit Chefie and devour (among other things) the.best.burger.in.the.world.ever.amen. Seriously, Le Burger at EDWINS restaurant is so fantastic! After dinner, I strolled around the back of the restaurant and peeked at the EDWINs restaurant garden, or  jardin, as they’re referring to it, which I love (very Frawnch, dontcha you know?). Let’s garden gawk! edwins garden They have some lovely grapes up front next to the sidewalk (and you know how much I love walkway gardens!) edwins restaurant And look at the Brussels sprouts at EDWINS restaurant: edwins restaurantThey are  on par with mine – love the tiny cabbages! Look at this exquisite basil! I am green with envy, as mine has limped along all summer: edwins restaurant A cucumber! Lookit! edwins restaurant Behold this fantastic fennel! edwins restaurant Fennel doesn’t have the same bad rep here in Cleveland, Ohio, as it does out west. I think our winters keep it in check, whereas the gorgeous West Coast sun let’s it grow unbridled … though I will say that C, giver of the bronze fennel seeds, said that this particular fennel over-wintered from last year and appeared uninvited, so maybe I’ll have to qualify everything I just said. Moving on … A whole beautiful mess of tomatoes – that also came back after self-seeding last year, so C and the folks at EDWINS restaurant don’t know what kind they are about to enjoy, but the tomatoes are robust and beautiful and look like an heirloom variety to me, I’ll tell you that much. Edwins restaurant Edwins restaurant Finally, some precocious mint! Edwins restaurant Keep your mint in check, folks – they spent a few hours ripping out mint from everywhere and in between this spring. Mischievous mint aside, isn’t it lovely getting a peek into someone else’s garden? Thanks for the lovely tour, Edwins Restaurant!