Thursday, September 30, 2010

City farming

The haul from the roof farm on Tuesday evening. I fried the green tomatoes last night and they were surprisingly delicious! Dipped the slices in whisked egg with some cream, then into self rising flour, heavily seasoned, and cooked in an olive oil and butter mix. Drizzled some lemon juice over at the last. Outside was crisp, inside tender and slightly tart, and piping hot.

I have taken out the black cherry tomatoes and planted in their stead some strawberries from the terrace, which were already rootbound, only a couple of months after rooting from runners...

In their new home:

The strawberries are proving far more energetic in taking over the world than the cucuzza threatened to be. I took that out some weeks ago, smelling the burned hair pong of the leaves all the while. I was sorry to see the flowers go, though - they were luminously beautiful, opening before sunset. But after the last - and only mature - cucuzza won the blue ribbon for heaviest summer squash at the Farm City Fair, I thought it was time to quit. Sorry I didn't get to eat it, though. I wonder who did?

I planted mesclun and the last of the spicy microgreen mix in its big pot.

Coming up, on the 19th...

 And yesterday:

Estorbo is here identifying a problem: the upland cress in the trough did not grow green and lush like the crop sown on the terrace, but turned dull red and remained stunted, for . The soil also remained wet, even though the drainage holes were working. So I pulled it out and noticed this kind of fungusy, spore-y growth on the soil down the sides of the trough which was packed with roots. It was new soil, so the roots belonged to the cress, despite their dwarfish leaves.

It was only when I looked at the picture on my computer that I noticed the critters...small, pale.

Any ideas? Click to enlarge.

I had planned to sow the second packet of chervil here, but now am not so sure. I'll wait until I know what the bugs were/are. The top trough shows what I will pick tonight and tomorrow, the middle what I picked in the last two weeks. It rejuveneated little, and I'll take the stems out and replant later this week.

They taste as good as they look. We're having an ensemble of sausages for supper and these leaves with walnut oil vinaigrette will be a perfect, mustardy counterpoint.

The cat supervised rubbish removal and safe return of terra cotta pots to the terrace.

Speaking of which. Walked down the brownstone steps this morning to find one pot missing altogether, but the impatiens that had been in it were standing all naked and intact on the same step. And another impatiens pot was jammed on top of a very happy (well, it used to be very happy) begonia, now crushed. Lots of broken, sappy stems. Sad and mysterious.

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