Unarguably, three of the vegetables I harvested in my small garden in April have given me immense pleasure – radish, fava beans (broad beans), and potherb mustard – and I select them as the vegetables of the month. For March, I have selected green peas (planted green peas in autumn last year and harvested this year). The taste of the green peas was just out of this world. I planted radish and fava beans last year; so I learnt from the errors I made last year! Pot herb mustard (called “mizuna” in Japan) was a first for me this year.
Radish – just picked and ready for breakfast
This year I made it a point to lightly dig around the radish plants and to cover the root completely with earth so as not to expose it at any time. This helped to maintain the shape and the size of the vegetable. The entire period from the planting of seeds to the harvest was 40 days! Radish will be a permanent feature of my garden. The taste of the raw radish is “zimbly zuperb” as some of my countrymen in a certain southern state in India would say.
Next, I harvested the pot herb mustard likewise in just about a month’s time, although I did not start it with seeds. It makes a great salad together with radish and lettuce, especially with a dash of lemon and olive oil as dressing.
Pot herb mustard – quick harvest!
The fava beans (broad beans) are called “sora mame” (literally “sky beans) in Japan. The beans on the plant point to the sky; when they stop pointing and drop down, they are ready for harvest. After I picked the fava beans from my planter, boiled them for about two minutes and peeled the skin, I was astonished. The ones sold in the market tend to be large, hard and you usually eat them with salt after boiling them. The ones I picked from planter were tender, soft and sweet. I wish had grown fava beans in six planters instead of two in autumn. I planted these in summer last year and had a tough time with pests that ate them up voraciously. I found planting them in autumn and harvesting them in spring is the way to go!
Fava bean – looking down, ready for harvest?
The flowers just about to bloom or already blooming this month are:
The resplendent Reeves Spiraea (Japanese name Kodemari)
The Gymnaster savatieri (Japanese name Miyako wasure) in a verdant background
Elegant and erect clover
The bright and colorful Abutilon
Cluster of white flowers – Lantana
Have a great day!