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13 things I am growing in my garden this year

(post, Ivy Manning)

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After the "25 Random Things About Me" trend, I give you a list of what I anticipate will be my best gardening year, ever. Investing in a 4x10 foot raised bed does wonders to one's naive belief in one's green thumb, doesn't it?

1. Pak choy (seeds purchased at Uwajimaya), a choy with pretty little flowers, dark green leaves and sweet juicy white stems.

2. Nantes carrots (seeds from catalog). These are super sweet, plump fingers without the woody center. I like them with pot roasts and steamed and tossed with lemon and toasted cumin seed See my recipe here. 

3. Mesclun greens (seeds from catalog) with oak leaf lettuce, gem, buttercrunch and Romaine in the mix.

4. Lacinato Kale (from starts), for braising with white beans.

5. French Radishes (seeds from a friend), for fancy butter and sea salt sandwiches.

6. Red carrots (seeds from a friend), blood red when pulled from the earth, sweet and kinda nutty when steamed.

7. Romaine lettuces (from starts), between my Caesar salad addiction and my bird's taste for Romaine, 2 rows probably won't be enough.

8. Bright Lights Chard (from starts), because it's easy and it reminds me of that David Bowie song.

9. Hood strawberries (from starts), sweet, deep red and best right off the vine; it is part of what makes living in the Northwest so good.

10. Chinese chives (from seeds), great in salad rolls and bimbimbap.

11. Detroit Red Beets (from seeds), easy to grow and a natural lip tint, too!

12. Kohlrabi (from seeds), because Fearn Smith from the Farm Cafe taught me to love this odd looking veg while I was working on my first book.

13. Japanese eggplant (from seed), I love eggplant, and picking them the day you cook them yields a sweet, custardy flesh unlike the abused, aged things in the grocery store.