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Though staff has been enjoying and sharing produce all summer long, this seemed like a good time for an official harvest, so at lunch today, gardeners presented a Lunch, Learn and Taste session to their colleagues.

Tina tells me, "That is a black swallowtail caterpillar. Their host plants are in the carrot family, apiaceae. They include plants like fennel, dill and Queen Anne’s lace. It’s a great find. They often get picked off by birds before they mature and its sad--that's why gardens should always have at least one, two or ten of these plants. I wish there was some sort of cage we could buy to protect it and watch it go through metamorphosis."

We talked about how the garden was a way to make our own building more green, the volunteers that helped us (not only the gardeners, but our building crew who helped with watering, our parks crew who started us off by turning the beds, and American Plant Food, who generously donated seed and supplies), and how we plan to winter over the garden (soils amendments and some hardy crops like cabbage).

But the real point of the garden party was to harvest and we had fun discovering sweet potatos under thier carpet of vines, eating peppery nasturtiums, and hunting for green beans.

Sweet potatoes revealed

Almost everything in these beds is edible, including the flowers

Gardeners generously hit their kitchens last night and we enjoyed Thai beef salad with lemongrass, a roasted beet and sweet potato salad, a fennel and orange salad, basil pesto with pasta, lemon verbena cake, and various butters, drinks, and syrups infused with herbs, all made with produce from our garden.

cucumber and fennel salad with yogurt, lemon verbena cake

Plans for next year include expanding our beds up the stairway and perhaps onto our green roof. But in the meantime, there’s still plenty to munch on.

3 Responses to “Harvest Time”

  1. Mary Dolan

    It was so wonderful that everyone had a receipe or story to share. Whenever one person left off, another had some even more creative idea to make a simple dish or spice up an old family favorite with something from the garden.

    The garden has also attracted casual passers-by and families who admire, touch and smell the beautiful plants. Everyone has been respectful to enjoy what they need and leave some for others. This garden can only get better as we expand our volunteer base and share the goodies!