Tag Archives: garden

Asparagus field… gone to seed

Ever wondered what an asparagus field looks like when the crop is finished? This is it. Fronds of fern-like, feathery leaves, which look more at home in a florist’s vase than in a farmer’s field past its best.

Done right, a farmer should only have to plant an asparagus field once. Once planted, that is the only crop for that field. Which means yield is very important. At least one year must pass before the crop is harvested. The first thing you notice is the spears, poking out of the brown earth like green fingers. Once the crop is finished, the plants will continue growing, up to 3-4ft by summer.

5 to remember
la cosecha – the crop
las frondas – the fronds
plumoso/a – feathery
una floristería – a florist
un jarrón – a vase

Aubergines of many colours

Until we started to grow them, I had no idea aubergines varied in colour so much. Most of all I like their purple glossiness, hanging heavy amongst large green leaves. I could do without the prickles though! No matter the colour, the taste is the same.

5 to remember
hasta – until
me gusta – I like
entre – amongst
las espinas – the prickles
lo mismo – the same

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Aubergines don’t just come in purple #vegetables in #Spain via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-1O7

Yellow autumn

What colour do you see when you think of autumn? For me, here in Spain, it is all shades of yellow. The first leaves to take on a hint of yellow are the walnut trees. The delicate fronds in the asparagus fields turn next. Then suddenly every tree has yellowing leaves, fading golden, falling to dust. The wind has the last say.

5 to remember
para mi – for me
delicado/a – delicate
las frondas – the fronds
amarillamiento – yellowing
el viento – the wind

Aliens… lichen

Is it just me or do lichens look like something dropped, or dripped, down from outer space?

They look like plants, but aren’t plants. A lichen is a composite organism that arises from algae or cyanobacteria, or both, living among filaments of a fungus in a symbiotic relationship. Some have tiny leafless branches or flat leaf-like structures, others look like flaking paint. Just to confuse things, they often grow through moss but lichens are not related to any moss or plant. They grow on almost any surface, most often on bark, leaves, mosses or other lichens, even hanging from branches. Some lichens grow on bare rock, gravestones, roofs, exposed soil surfaces and walls, but they are not parasites.

It is estimated that 6% of the world’s surface is covered by lichen. And I thought there was a lot in the valley. It is beautiful.

Oh, and just in case you didn’t know how to pronounce it… we English say lichen rhyming with ‘kitchen’. The American pronunciation is ‘liken’.

5 to remember
caído – dropped
goteado – dripped
el espacio sidereal – the outer space
el liquen – the lichen
el musgo – the moss

What’s that?

It is definitely a plant, but is it edible? I think it looks rather like kale, the vegetable. #8 mistle thistle 14-4-155 to remember
¿Qué es eso? – What’s that?
seguro – definitely
¿lo es?¿is it?
comestible – edible
la col rizada – the kale

Answer: Mistle thistle. April 14, 2015

Mostly green

The veggie patch is a runaway success, it is so much easier growing things here where the sun is a constant. Our only problem is keeping up with output, every year we say we will plant less and then get carried away by the thought of new things to eat. huerta3 22-7-15green bean1 22-7-15pepino 22-7-15This year we have green beans and pepino, which we haven’t grown before. Pepino is a short cucumber with a rough ridged skin [above], and far tastier than the usual long greenhouse cucumber.

5 to remember
escapador – runaway
un suceso – a success
una constante – a constant
la salida – the output
un invernadero – a greenhouse

The veggie patch in June

As the almond field turns golden as the soil dries to concrete, the veggie patch is blossoming thanks to its regular supply of spring water via our arrangement of irrigation pipes. After watering, the soil in the channels turns to a thick viscous mud. The scrub and rock on the uphill side of the field look rough, but wildflowers still gain a foothold amongst the vegetables. The weeding continues as the malas hierbas like the water too… and the first flowers have appeared on the tomatoes.6 beside the huerta,. rough rock and scrub 17-6-156 blue wildflower 17-6-15Aubergine… 6 aubergine 17-6-15Butternut squash… 6 butternut squash 17-6-15Cabbage… 6 cabbage 17-6-15Courgettes… 6 courgettes 17-6-15Melons… 6 melon 17-6-15Onions… 6 onion, close-up 17-6-15Tomatoes… 6 tomato plant with flower 17-6-15Peppers… 6 peppers 17-6-155 to remember
los malas hierbas – the weeds
cierne – blossoming
el sistema de – the system of
las tuberías de riego – the irrigation pipes
un punto de apoyo – a foothold