Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The edible garden pays off

I don't know if I have been watering the roof farm with my eyes shut or what. Yesterday, while the sun was still high at 5pm, I took to the roof armed with a pair of Felcos and plastic bag. And a drink. Of course. The drink was St Germaine and sparkling water and lots of cucumber and lime slices and ice. It sat on the parapet between us and Raccoon House and melted. 

I was up there to snip dead leaves and pull pigweed, prune the blueberry at the wrong time of year, pull up trout lettuce going to seed and generally spruce things up. Also, I needed to check for signs of those blasted tobacco hornworm caterpillars - Vince noticed a very large moth visiting the tomato plants the other night. No sign. But they will emerge at some point. I may have to buy a hand gun (oh, don't go all funny on me now. I hate hand guns more than I can properly express. Still...).

And then I started finding things. The huge big striped zucchini: I scored three. A long purple eggplant, lying hidden beneath some yellowing leaves. Huh. Two small purple peppers. When did that happen? And two round squash with blossoms attached, from the vine that I was about to bin. And one Cape gooseberry. Or ground cherry...

About those. These are decidedly not same species as the Cape gooseberries my mother grows or the ones we buy in stores in Cape Town - and here (at the Garden of Eden, labeled 'goldenberries' - weird shop). Yes, they are Physalis, but the plant is ground hugging rather than bushy, with very rigid, horizontal branches and very, very small fruit that grows uncomfortably close to the stems. And very sweet, even when not orange. Curious.

I collected another cucumber and the first black cherry tomatoes and an electric yellow eggplant. Beans. All under that blazing sun and accompanied by the panting cat and melting drink.

Supper was the vegetable marrows, hollowed and stuffed with some leftover lamb, the chopped eggplants and plenty of summer savory and marjoram. And honey. A salad of many of the vegetables and lettuce. And then a sort of trifle with the strawberries I collected  from the terrace, whipped cream, and some pâte sablée that had shattered when I tried to move it entire to a serving plate. We shared one glassful - being too full to eat one each.

The extra serving disappeared mysteriously in the night, coinciding with a trip by the sleepy Frenchman to drink from his bottle of water that lives in the fridge.


  1. Hi, Marie! The "gooseberries" I grew years ago when still lived in Poland. We called them The "Brazilian Raisins", since when they dried they look and taste almost like. Now in my garden in Bensalem I still have them - mainly for fresh eating and for canning - and I love them!
    I'm very fond of your unusual garden and blog!

  2. Similarly, when I bake cheese scones, they too disappear in the night...numbers are always down by morning. Odd, that :)

  3. now we know why the frenchman does not keep water on the night stand.

  4. Uncovering hidden treasures!! Gotta love it.

  5. what is the name of the striped zucchini? absolutely love your terrace and roof gardens - beautiful and bountiful - inspiring!

  6. Thank you Anna - Brazilian Raisins!

    jellli - hm. Like the sock monster that eats socks.

    donna - indeed, like a normal person would (I hate chilled water, referring cold-from-tap).

    Martyso - yes very nice finds...

    Anonymous - Seeds were labeled Cocozelle


  7. Loved hearing what you did with your bounty, but tonight I will be following your drink directions. While harvesting (hopefully) cherry tomatoes from the terrace.

  8. I am envious you can grow strawberries without the squirrels going to town on them :)

    I have tried everything to keep them away, to no avail. But I still love the vine and the flowers...

    A lovely blog!


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