Lady, Be Bug.

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Ladybugs are great to have in your garden. I have noticed that the arugula that I have been has not been quite as “holey” as previously. You definitely do not want to kill this one. I am always amazed at the physics, geometry and nano technology in insects. She looks comfortable on her perch, wondering where her next meal might come from.

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Hopefully, she will stay.

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Another source of wonder and awe. A small colony of ants lives in the hole behind the baby arugula. They have just sent out a scouting party. Keep your kitchen clean. It’s more fun to observe them outside. The arugula is growing in the debris they have excavated. They ignore it. By and large, I ignore them. Live and let live. The ants want to eat sugary items. The arugula is sharp and peppery. So far, the ants have by-passed the peas. They are attracted to the sweet in sweet peas. All that sugar, all that energy is what an ant wants to stay motivated all day long. This is the reason I have delayed planting fava beans. The ants go straight for the fava bean tops and do damage by leaving the new growth stunted, scarred and deformed.

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These black raspberries have lost their flowers and are slowly beginning to form berries. They are still a few weeks out from picking. In the meantime, this year’s new growth floricanes will need to be pruned and trimmed back. These are the ones that will produce berries next year just like these berries. I prune them three times a year. This will be the second clipping.

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Peas in a row with some re-animated radicchio at the front. The radicchio has happily come back from last years planting. This is the area where I would like to plant fava beans later in the summer. The plan is to plant them in the second half of July. In the meantime, the peas are doing okay. They got off to a slow start. They have six weeks to get their act together in terms of delivering peas in a pod. I was asked for an updated inventory of what I have growing in a small city garden. Here is the updated list: parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, chives, oregano, tarragon, garlic chives, wild fennel, epizote, coriander, cumin, chervil. Blueberries, rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries and fig. Scallions, onions, leeks, carrots, radishes and garlic. Brocolli rabe, kohl rabe, kale, spinach, swiss chard, fennel, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, brocolli, lettuces. Tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Asparagus, sunflowers, pole beans and I think thats it. Later, I will put in beets and turnip. I guess I like eating all my vegetables. Maintaining a small garden like this in the city requires attention. For me, it is how the space is used. My garden space is about 350 square feet and the goal is to have something growing in all seasons. Beyond that, it is old school gardening techniques, homemade compost, verticality for a small space, seed saving and weeding. A large percentage of my growing space is for perennials. The remainder is for fun and indulgence. And I’m lucky. I made friends with the guys at Grateful Farm(see my blogroll) so I kinda get to pick and choose what I want for seedlings and transplants. And if I want to buy any seeds, well, there is always online. Most of what I like to grow is heirloom. For example, the radicchio I grow is not what you will see in a supermarket. It is the radicchio from whence all others came from. It is the classic Radicchio di Treviso. And anytime I want to visit Veneto or Sicily or Provence, all I have to do is step out into my little kitchen garden.
Thanks for reading and eat like a peasant.

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