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A newbie says: I CAN'T. BELIEVE. THE TASTE.

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A newbie says: I CAN'T. BELIEVE. THE TASTE.

Post  jjlonsdale on 4/16/2013, 9:33 pm

So, year one of SFG! Super exciting!

I'm in Dallas, so I need to be getting stuff planted. A couple of weeks ago I had a big packet of mesclun salad mix that got all wet laying on a counter, so I figured I'd better use it up, and just sprinkled it all over the four front squares. Because it was wet they kind of clumped up... and now that they're just barely starting to show true leaves it's obvious that I have way way way too many plants in there!

So out of curiosity I pulled up a sprout and nibbled the tiny leaves off.

Oh. Em. Gee.

I have never tasted a salad leaf like it, so sharp and earthy and bitter (I'm thinking I got an arugula seedling?). We're talking two little leaves that are each smaller than a pencil eraser, and it made this explosion of amazing taste in my mouth.

So then I pinched off an inch from the top of one of my chives, and again I couldn't believe it. So fresh and pungent and onioney and delicious!

So then I took a leaf from one of my baby lettuces, which I really shouldn't have done but I just couldn't help it, and THAT one I bothered to go inside and rinse it off... and it has to be the most delicious, rich, flavorful piece of lettuce I've ever had.

How is it possible that I have lived on this planet for 31 years without realizing how SPECTACULARLY AMAZING real, honest, home-grown vegetables can be? How was I living without this FLAVOR?

It is taking a great deal of self-control to stay inside and let my little babies GROW!

I have run out of adjectives now, so here are some pix (hope they upload all right):

The square that has the biggest clump of mesclun mix seeds, from which I pulled a few to nibble:


Some baby lettuces in cinder block holes (we'll see how they do in our Texas heat... I know cinder blocks are notorious for letting moisture evaporate, but what are you going to do, NOT plant something in those little spaces?)


The whole thing:


Peas and tomatoes I think you can see, also a couple of summer squash. Lots of tiny things in there you can barely see or can't see at all -- sweet onions, green onions, beets, radishes, swiss chard, carrots, marigolds, parsley, basil, a bunch of beans and cowpeas I just planted that haven't poked up yet. Also a bunch of seedlings in pots outdoors (not shown) that have to either make it outdoors from day one or they don't make it at all (Highs in the mid-80s and lows in the mid-50s.... they can deal). Yeah, I know half of that is the wrong season but I just sort of couldn't help it... THREE times in the last 6 weeks I have arrived home with more seeds and said to the DB (dear boyfriend), "I'm not buying ANY more seeds!" and he just smiles and humors me and knows that the next time I stop off anywhere with seeds I'll probably end up bringing something home........

hugs and kisses
jj

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Re: A newbie says: I CAN'T. BELIEVE. THE TASTE.

Post  quiltbea on 4/16/2013, 10:11 pm

jj......Cute story and I agree. There's nothing tastier than homegrown which I learned myself a few years ago. I wouldn't be without a garden these days, from greens to tomatoes, to potatoes, to herbs.....its all so intense and wonderful.
Don't get me started of the flavor of fruit homegrown. My peaches last year were the best I'd ever eaten, and the family says so, too.

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Re: A newbie says:I CAN'T. BELEIVE. THE TASTE.

Post  Lillyz on 4/16/2013, 10:19 pm

@jjlonsdale wrote:So, year one of SFG! Super exciting! [snip]

How is it possible that I have lived on this planet for 31 years without realizing how SPECTACULARLY AMAZING real, honest, home-grown vegetables can be? How was I living without this FLAVOR? [/snip]

Home-grown, YES!! Organic, YES (or semi-organic)!!! That is one of the reasons why I garden. Every veggie tastes sooo good!! I started buying organic veggies/fruits and eggs even tho they cost a wee bit more, because they taste like I remembered them tasting. They may not be the prettiest, but they are GOOD and FRESH.

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Re: A newbie says: I CAN'T. BELIEVE. THE TASTE.

Post  landarch on 4/16/2013, 10:44 pm

Regarding taste, I always look forward to the first BLT of the year...Brandywine tomato and baby romaine fresh from the garden...and don't forget the cripsy bacon and spicy mayo and the crispy bacon. Did I mention the cripsy bacon?

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Re: A newbie says: I CAN'T. BELIEVE. THE TASTE.

Post  yolos on 4/16/2013, 10:49 pm

Landarch - how do you get tomatoes and lettuce ready to harvest at the same time. Here in Ga the lettuce is about ready to bolt and the tomatoes still have 50 days to harvesting.

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Re: A newbie says: I CAN'T. BELIEVE. THE TASTE.

Post  Goosegirl on 4/16/2013, 11:10 pm

JJ - Just wait until you taste that first home grown tomato! I don't even like eating raw tomatoes and I just about fainted from pleasure (literally swooned and eyes rolled back into my head) last year when I bit into my first home grown black cherry tomato.

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Re: A newbie says: I CAN'T. BELIEVE. THE TASTE.

Post  Windsor.Parker on 4/16/2013, 11:48 pm

@jjlonsdale wrote:...the next time I stop off anywhere with seeds I'll probably end up bringing something home........
jj
jj, surely you're gonna grow peppers! Sweet ones, and HOT ones, too! Wait'll you wrap your lips around 'em. Unforgettable!
WP

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Re: A newbie says: I CAN'T. BELIEVE. THE TASTE.

Post  brainchasm on 4/17/2013, 1:08 am

I know that feeling jjlonsdale!

I just had my first harvest (radishes) of my first year of SFG, and my first year of gardening...

I don't even care for radishes but oh man, tasting the fruit of your own labor is really something! I picked some spinach too, and it was sooo tasty...I took a few pieces of lettuce and chard to a friend and his avid gardener of a mother was there...she tasted the greens and stared at me like I had cured cancer!

And like they say, wait until your first tomato!

(oh, and the trick to getting lettuce and tomato together is probably find a shaded spot, and plant some lettuce to time it to be ready when the tomatoes are, or something like that)

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Re: A newbie says: I CAN'T. BELIEVE. THE TASTE.

Post  edfhinton on 4/17/2013, 7:08 am

Ditto on the baby lettuce. We started lettuce seeds indoors in three batches over three weekends. For some reason, the middle batch has been more prolific than the others and the cells are overflowing. We will be planting out in a few days, but in the meantime I thought being so overcrowded would be bad. So last night I thinned back by cutting some of the baby plants just above the planting mix. We got a good couple of handfulls. After rinsing them we ate them and it was wonderful how tasty the little leaves were!

I am not sorry I planted too many seeds per cell after that tasty experience.


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Re: A newbie says: I CAN'T. BELIEVE. THE TASTE.

Post  llama momma on 4/17/2013, 7:33 am

@jjlonsdale wrote:Oh. Em. Gee.
I have never tasted a salad leaf like it,... this explosion of amazing taste in my mouth.
jj

Your enthusiastic experience reminds me of last year when my husband tasted our first homegrown strawberry. At first he said it was too intense!

llama momma

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Re: A newbie says: I CAN'T. BELIEVE. THE TASTE.

Post  landarch on 4/17/2013, 9:38 am

I try to grow new lettuce from seed in containers that I can keep in the shade...last year was tough because of the extreme heat. Sometimes it's easier in the fall when lettuce likes the cooler temps and there are still tomatoes on the vine. Here's a pic of mid-September baby romaine.

I also leave a bit of room to the north of my tomato trellises to grow lettuce in the shade, again, last year was tough in the heat.

That's why BLT's are so favored in our house...the timing of lettuce and tomatoes is short and sweet.

The timing I haven't figured out yet is cilantro for salsa making in late summer/ early fall.

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Re: A newbie says: I CAN'T. BELIEVE. THE TASTE.

Post  TejasTerry on 4/17/2013, 4:57 pm

Last year was my first year gardening ever. The first pic was of my Black Prince tomatoes and some green wild onions I grew. The 2nd pic was taken in December before we got our first freeze. We had so many tomatoes last year that I was canning and dehydrating and giving them away. I had gone to a gardening meet up and was told that I was just having beginners luck with my tomatoes, and don't expect it to happen again...lol But you're right,, the taste is like what I remember when I was a little girl and my mom had a little garden in the back yard.




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Re: A newbie says: I CAN'T. BELIEVE. THE TASTE.

Post  jjlonsdale on 4/17/2013, 5:00 pm

TejasTerry, those tomatos are gorgeous and plentiful! I can only hope I have such a bountiful harvest!

I'm just a little ways north of you in Dallas. If it's not too much trouble, do you think you could tell me when you start your tomatos (inside, I presume) and when you transplant them to beds outdoors? I've been finding conflicting information.

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Re: A newbie says: I CAN'T. BELIEVE. THE TASTE.

Post  TejasTerry on 4/17/2013, 5:04 pm

Oh yes, and this is quite possibly the best yellow squash I've ever eaten. It's "lemon squash"...I've planted it again this year.




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Re: A newbie says: I CAN'T. BELIEVE. THE TASTE.

Post  TejasTerry on 4/17/2013, 5:11 pm

@jjlonsdale wrote:TejasTerry, those tomatos are gorgeous and plentiful! I can only hope I have such a bountiful harvest!

I'm just a little ways north of you in Dallas. If it's not too much trouble, do you think you could tell me when you start your tomatos (inside, I presume) and when you transplant them to beds outdoors? I've been finding conflicting information.

I start them in early January under a grow light in the house. I also bought some bigger plants from a local nursery that are heirloom. They were about double the size of my plants I started.

I have friends here south of San Antonio that start their tomato plants in December, then put them out in water teepees which protect the plants. They have been gardening for over 30 years, and also do raised beds. Really have great results.

I think Dallas would not be much different than where I am in the Hill Country. But again, I'm only on my second season, so am a newbie too.


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Re: A newbie says: I CAN'T. BELIEVE. THE TASTE.

Post  jjlonsdale on 4/17/2013, 5:12 pm

Well now you're just taunting me!!! Twisted Evil

lol!

I'll be sure to report back to you when I have pictures that are just as mouth-watering!

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Re: A newbie says: I CAN'T. BELIEVE. THE TASTE.

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