28 pots
Just harvested the sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) from the roof.  They were quite small becuase they were growing in a pot.  Will be interesting to see what they taste like…

Just harvested the sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) from the roof. They were quite small becuase they were growing in a pot. Will be interesting to see what they taste like…

Three pounds of tomatillos from the garden!  Soon to be salsa verde!

Three pounds of tomatillos from the garden! Soon to be salsa verde!

Growing Cornichons

This winter, I’ve been eating tons of charcuterie, and that means enjoying bursts of tangy deliciousness from nibbling on cornichons in between the savory cured meats and pâtés.  I’ve always assumed that the cucumbers that are pickled to make cornichons are simply cucumbers that are harvested when they are tiny.  Turns out I was wrong.

Cornichons are actually made from cucumber varieties that are really small when they are fully mature.  I am going to try the variety Parisienne Cornichon de Bourbonne this summer.  Can’t wait to harvest my first crop of tiny cucumbers!

blog neglect

Dear 28pots,

I am sorry for neglecting you.  Finishing my dissertation has taken over my life the past few months.  I will be finished with it in a few weeks, so I can once again maintain you as a functional blog. 

For now, hang in there.


Lots of love,

Ben

As I watched the wall of water fall from the sky on Saturday,  I couldn’t help but think that the millions of dollars in flooding damage could have been prevented if Boston was more progressive about green planning and building initatives, such as pervious pavements and green roofs. 
This was the perfect storm for testing the buffering capacity of these technologies.  As opposed to all of that water running off along pavement and roof surfaces and collecting in low lying areas, pervious pavements and green roofs would have allowed much of the water to percolate slowly into the soil.   These technologies are initially an expensive investment, which makes many people skeptical of the value of these investments (myself included).  But with the damage from storms like these in the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars, it may pay off in the long run.

As I watched the wall of water fall from the sky on Saturday,  I couldn’t help but think that the millions of dollars in flooding damage could have been prevented if Boston was more progressive about green planning and building initatives, such as pervious pavements and green roofs. 

This was the perfect storm for testing the buffering capacity of these technologies.  As opposed to all of that water running off along pavement and roof surfaces and collecting in low lying areas, pervious pavements and green roofs would have allowed much of the water to percolate slowly into the soil.   These technologies are initially an expensive investment, which makes many people skeptical of the value of these investments (myself included).  But with the damage from storms like these in the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars, it may pay off in the long run.

This incredibly tiny flower comes from a bladderwort plant, Utricularia bisquamata, growing in my minibog.  This is a carnivorous plant that produces traps that capture tiny insects.  Some people consider the small flowers to be “boring,” but I think its small size is what makes it so stunning.

This incredibly tiny flower comes from a bladderwort plant, Utricularia bisquamata, growing in my minibog.  This is a carnivorous plant that produces traps that capture tiny insects.  Some people consider the small flowers to be “boring,” but I think its small size is what makes it so stunning.

The urban farming fad has gone viral.  Many people are growing veggies in community gardens and on roof tops, using the experience to improve their awareness of food production. 
I thought I’d take the food awareness bit to a whole new level this year, and decided to grow some of the most widely grown global food crops on our roof.  Here is what it looks like when you plant corn, wheat, rice, soy, and potatoes in one small area in a roof in Boston.  Note that I’ve included how many tons of each of these crops are produced, based on 2004 data from the FAO.
As you can see, the rice has been the slowest grower, and the wheat and potatoes are taking over.  And there appears to be a vintage International tractor emerging from this agrarian jungle.
Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t plan on any of these plants to produce any food.  This was just for fun.  But by growing them and reading about them, I have learned a lot about how each of these plants grows and how they are used in our global food supply.
The plants pictured are in the top 7 global food crops.  Missing from the picture are the number 1 food crop, sugar cane (I didn’t even bother trying to make myself ‘aware’ of how difficult that would be to grow) and number 5 sugar beets (I have beets growing in a nearby veggie box…. does that count?).

The urban farming fad has gone viral.  Many people are growing veggies in community gardens and on roof tops, using the experience to improve their awareness of food production. 

I thought I’d take the food awareness bit to a whole new level this year, and decided to grow some of the most widely grown global food crops on our roof.  Here is what it looks like when you plant corn, wheat, rice, soy, and potatoes in one small area in a roof in Boston.  Note that I’ve included how many tons of each of these crops are produced, based on 2004 data from the FAO.

As you can see, the rice has been the slowest grower, and the wheat and potatoes are taking over.  And there appears to be a vintage International tractor emerging from this agrarian jungle.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t plan on any of these plants to produce any food.  This was just for fun.  But by growing them and reading about them, I have learned a lot about how each of these plants grows and how they are used in our global food supply.

The plants pictured are in the top 7 global food crops.  Missing from the picture are the number 1 food crop, sugar cane (I didn’t even bother trying to make myself ‘aware’ of how difficult that would be to grow) and number 5 sugar beets (I have beets growing in a nearby veggie box…. does that count?).

Our first tomato of the season has set!  And by set I mean that a flower formed a fruit.  You can see it in this photo on the right.  The tomato is only the size of a really small pea, but I am already dreaming of the sweet and juicy deliciousness of homegrown tomatoes.  This year we are growing 6 (!) different varieties of tomatoes that I grew from seed.  They are Tomande, Tommy Toe, Nebraska Wedding, Mortgage Lifter, Hartmann’s Yellow Gooseberry, and Cherry Roma.

Our first tomato of the season has set!  And by set I mean that a flower formed a fruit.  You can see it in this photo on the right.  The tomato is only the size of a really small pea, but I am already dreaming of the sweet and juicy deliciousness of homegrown tomatoes.  This year we are growing 6 (!) different varieties of tomatoes that I grew from seed.  They are Tomande, Tommy Toe, Nebraska Wedding, Mortgage Lifter, Hartmann’s Yellow Gooseberry, and Cherry Roma.

This morning we had our first official harvest of the 2010 gardening season!  These French breakfast radishes are delicious and beautiful.  Next up, oakleaf lettuce and arugula.

This morning we had our first official harvest of the 2010 gardening season!  These French breakfast radishes are delicious and beautiful.  Next up, oakleaf lettuce and arugula.

I’ve been blogging about urban gardening over at the South End Gardens blog.  Check it out: southendgardens.blogspot.com

I’ve been blogging about urban gardening over at the South End Gardens blog.  Check it out: southendgardens.blogspot.com