Tag Archives: Scallion

Vegetables And Their Flowers

A Closer Look At What We Eat

I love eating vegetables especially a fresh salad just picked minutes ago from our garden.  It’s not just tastier than store bought, but also makes me feel healthier physically and psychologically.  The leafy vegetables hardly have a chance to flower, but when the weather gets really hot and we’re stuck at work, then they start to ‘bolt.’  I do let some of them flower just to get seeds for next season.  That’s when the vegetables show their other beauty; not just the beautiful colors and textures of the leaves but delicate flowers in both color and design.

Arugula
Arugula

We love the the spicy and bitter taste of Arugula or Rocket (Eruca sativa).  Salad would be pretty bland without it, but that’s just my opinion.  Their beautiful pale yellowish/green flowers are edible.

Borage
Borage

Beautiful blue star of Borage (Borago officinalis) flowers are frequent by all type of bees.  They’re not just beautiful but they’re also edible; look lovely in salad.

Broccoli raab
Broccoli raab

I let some of the Broccoli raab (Brassica rapa) flowers bloom to harvest the seeds.  The bright canary yellow flowers add color to the vegetable garden and the bees love them too.

Chinese Broccoli
Chinese Broccoli

Chinese Broccoli or Chinese Kale (Brassica oleracea) is another leafy vegetable I grow.  The leaf is sweeter than other kales and is great for stir-frying or to put in noodle soups.

Garlic, with a small wanderer passing through
Garlic, with a small wanderer passing through

The garlic flower, aka ‘Scape’, has a milder taste than the garlic head.  I pick some of them when they’re small and tightly wrapped in tissue thin skin and use them in stir-fry vegetable dishes.  The photo above is a much more mature scape. These little bulbs are good for pickling or planting.  Although the garlic that grows from these little bulbs will not divide into cloves the first year.

Radish
Radish

Surprisingly the spicy Radish (Raphanus sativus) has these delicate pale pink flowers.  The flowers and seed pods are edible but, for me, it would serve no purpose to eat the seed pods since I let some of them flower to harvest the seeds.

Scallion
Scallion

Green Onion or Scallions (Allium cepa), some may call it bunching onion, is the one we eat the greens, not the bulbs.  The ones I grow have never set bulbs so I grow them from seeds that I collected the previous year.

Spring Vegetable Garden

Sprouting Time

After a long wait for fresh backyard salad, I can hardly stop myself from sowing seeds in the vegetable garden.  As soon as the soil softens, judged by seeing weeds coming up, I put Arugula, Radish (Cherry Belle and French Breakfast), Pak choi, Mizuna, Kale, Swiss chard, Scallion, Lettuce, and Broccoli Raab in.   The arugula is always the first to come up.

I also put Snap Peas in the soil directly.  I find that they grow stronger that way than starting them in a container and replanting them.  I just soak the seeds in water for a few hours, placing them between damp paper towels.  The roots will sprout out in two nights.  I drop the ones with roots in the soil and cover them.  I don’t have to worry about hardening them.  If they feel it’s the right time to poke shoots above ground, they will. They are already a couple of inches tall now.  I will have stir-fry sized pea shoots in a couple of weeks.

Some self-sown Broccoli Raab, Borage and Calendula also came up.  Last year’s Red Russian kale, Scallion and Radicchio looks pretty fresh and healthy.  I can pick them while waiting to thin the seedlings (great baby greens for salad).  I also picked my first Asparagus of the season last weekend and will have some more this weekend.  Garlic is looking lovely at this time too.  I have already fed them once.

Yes, the tomatoes have sown themselves again.  They are just an inch above the soil surface right now, not big enough to be transplanted yet.  I will take most of the Borage and Calendula out from the vegetable garden and transplant them along with the flowers.

Anywhere I turn there are signs of new shoots and leaves unfurling, another cycle of life has begun.

First fresh, sweet, asparagus of the season.
First fresh, sweet, asparagus of the season.
Most of these Calendula seedlings will be transplanted to the flower garden.
Most of these Calendula seedlings will be transplanted to the flower garden.
These Snap peas were sown directly in the soil.  I don't have to cover them even on a 39 degree night.
These Snap peas were sown directly in the soil. I don’t have to cover them even on a 39 degree night.
Borage sprouts up right next to the garlic.  I keep a few of them in the vegetable garden, but this one will have to move.
Borage sprouts up right next to the garlic. I keep a few of them in the vegetable garden, but this one will have to move.
Put the garlic cloves in last October and they came up in March.
Put the garlic cloves in last October and they came up in March.