Last weekend we're out in the garden.
"What's that?" SM asks, pointing at the big green cluster bomb beside the lettuce.
"Well, it's broccoli rapini." I inform him.
"What are you supposed to do with it? Eat the leaves?" SM inquires.
"I don't think so. I think it's supposed to produce something that looks kinda like broccoli but not just in a head. Kinda like little separate stems." I dig through the leaves.
"Nothing yet though."
I've had no luck growing broccoli. So I thought I'd give the rapini a shot. These were seeds purchased from Baker Creek that I direct sowed back on March 2nd (!!! REALLY ???) and then let the hoop house do it's thing.
Anybody grow this stuff? I googled it and came across this site that explains a bit about growing and harvesting rapini.
Last night SM and I went out again and I dug through the plant to see if anything was happening.
TaDa! Looks like I've got some rapini starting. Not much, I'll grant you. This is the size of my pinkie finger. Two little stubs. But it's a start.
I also noticed that the some of the onions are starting to bulb.
How exciting! This is my first year with onions.
"Are those potatoes?" SM asks. I guess he didn't know I'd tossed some in the garden.
"Yep." I bent over and scattered some more straw on the plants to cover them up. "Remember that video we watched with that old lady's advice on gardening?"
"Just toss it on the ground and cover it up?" SM replies.
Most of you have probably heard of Ruth Stout. If you haven't, you should check her out. There used to be a video out there with her talking about her life and how she discovered what she terms as "The No Work Garden." I tried to find the video we watched a few months ago but there's a copyright claim on it, so the best I can do is offer up a link to a Mother Earth News article on Ruth's process.
Ruth lived to be 96. Her observations from a lifetime of gardening agree with what many of us are just now discovering. No-till method with heavy rotting mulch on top (she used straw). Trying to leave the soil as undisturbed as possible is the best way to go.
This method is what SM and I will be trying to move towards as we build up our own garden over the next few years. And as back-breaking as it is right now to double dig the ground and shovel compost onto it, we'll be looking forward to the days when the soil is so rich that all we need to do is toss a seed on the ground a kick a little soil on top of it.
Just like Ruth did.