Year-Round Vegetable Gardening--a Talk
Slow Food Nation--Victory Garden

Chayotes and Other Crops

The chayote I planted this spring is finally starting to grow and look good. The one in front is the larger of the two plants. In the background, on the other side of the trellis, is the second, its "novia." When they  2008 July 092 copybloom, they will pollinate each other. When I tell people that they will meet at the top of the trellis, they are still not sure they believe me, but at least the plants are getting taller. They should bloom in fall and bear fruit in November and December.

In the far background, you can see a plant of Bolivian sunroot, or yacon, that is off to a good start too. I will be digging edible roots from this plant in the winter. This is the Central and South American corner of the demonstration garden at City College of San Francisco.

To see earlier images of the chayote, use the lejit search feature to the right side of this blog.

Here is a photo of the garden showing more plants. The scarlet runner beans are on a trellis in the rear. In front of them are carrots in flower (attractive to beneficial insects). In front of that is a bed of red Russian kale with some alpine strawberries, and in front of that a bed that contains mature carrots and parsnips, celeriac, and Florence fennel.

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Finally, here is an image of some cardoons that are blooming. The plant is huge. I have tried blanching the young leaves, earlier in the year, and preparing the leaf midribs, which are the edible part of the plant, but found it a lot of work for what you get, so have since just been enjoying the flowers, which are nice in a bouquet. You can see how closely related they are to artichoke. (Warning: this plant has escaped cultivation to become a weed in parts of California, so don't let the seeds fly around if you grow it and let it bloom.)

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I've been teaching all summer and now the class has only a week to go. I look foreward to more time to blog and garden in August! 


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