Friday, May 15, 2015

My Italian Garden

grapevines twine the garden fence

One of the benefits of living in a house previously owned by an older Italian couple is inheriting a garden filled with culinary staples from an Italian kitchen, like oregano, parsley, mint and chives.  I;m making new discoveries nearly every day as green things keep popping up in unexpected places.

One mystery which had us baffled for a couple of days was this tall, herbaceous plant that seemed to appear out of nowhere.  Its fuzzy leaves reminded me of black-eyed susan, but within a week it a growth spurt of two feet and almost an equally wide spread.

After much research and desperate plea for assistance on Facebook, we determined it was Comfrey, a medicinal herb praised for its ability to heal wounds.  I'll be keeping this around because it's high in nitrogen and also makes an excellent addition to the compost pile.

I've already made a few meals from some early perennials like oregano and leeks.  For Mother's Day I tossed together a huge Mediterranean Pasta Salad with oregano pesto, fiddleheads and leeks.

Later this week I roasted a spaghetti squash and sautéed some mustard greens and white beans in olive oil and garlic, then drizzled everything with more oregano pesto.  I think this sauce will be in heavy rotation over the next few weeks.  

I'll be planting organic seedlings of warm weather annuals like tomatoes, summer squash and eggplant this afternoon, and popping a few string bean seeds into the ground as well.  As the weeks pass, it will be fun to track the progress and reap the benefits in the Well on Wheels kitchen.

mustard greens




snow peas

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