The Mid-Summer Roof Update
We are already halfway through July! This will be the first of many blog posts from Chef on the Roof regarding the progress of the organic rooftop garden.
So far it has been a good season. The only produce remaining from spring plantings are the carrots. They are slow growers and are tricky to garden with but homegrown tastes so much better than store-bought. Once I pull them from the ground, look for an awesome picture of five different heirloom varieties including Atomic Red, Purple Haze, Kuroda, Nantes, and Tonda de Parisi.
Summer is in full swing, so right now I'm up to my knees in five different kinds of beans, including Pinto, Black, Green wax, Yellow wax, and what I'm most excited for... Chinese Long Beans! I found an heirloom variety from a seed exchange and planted them as soon as I could. I'm told they taste like a cross between asparagus and regular green beans. Once mature, they're about 18 inches long and can be used in all manner of recipes.
Summer also means fresh fruit! My strawberry plants are in full swing and hopefully I'll see some flowers and fruit by the end of the month. I also have watermelon and cantaloupe that are quickly taking over their containers. I should see some actual watermelon by the first week of August since a handful of flowers have popped open this week.
Zucchini and yellow squash are progressing nicely as well as cucumbers. Particularly Pickling Cucumbers. There's seven plants of that variety in particular which means one thing to any true cucumber fan... Pickles!!! I'm a pickle fiend and have a certain fondness for Kosher Dills most of all. But don't worry any Bread and Butter Pickle fans... there will be plenty of those to be made as well!
Finally, what I'm most excited about, the ultimate vegetal symbol of summer, the tomato. For the first time, I'm trying out upside-down tomato planters. You know, the ones from "As Seen On TV." So now the four varieties of tomatoes hanging up there are Cherry, Beefsteak, Purple Cherokee, and San Marzano, all flourishing before my very eyes. They have been hanging for about ten days now and have already doubled in size. I wasn't 100% sure before but now I am convinced. Those containers actually work so if anyone has been on the fence about getting them, go for it! Anyone that has grown tomatoes before knows they completely TAKE OVER. These are a great time and space saver and there's no hassle from tomato cages or stakes with clips.
Thanks to everyone for your support! Take care and enjoy the rest of July. Look for the next update from The Roof in early August.