Sunday, May 10

L'Orto - Our Italian Veggie Garden

Our big veg garden or orto is really coming along! We've had a wet & chilly spring so far (we are hoping all the water will come in handy in the dry months of late July to August) but it has meant that our seedlings are still pretty small, hearty but small. Now that the sun is shinning & bringing warmer days, they are shooting up like...weeds!

It's hard to imagine how big it really is in pictures, but trust me -it's big! There is a TON of space for all the delicious, flavor-packed fruits & vegetables we are planting and then serving in our restaurant, canning & jarring & using in our cooking classes. Here's what's in the ground as of today:

- 90 fava (pictured above)
- 120 potatoes (white & yellow)
- 650 onions (red & yellow)

- over 200 garlic (red & elephant) & shallots (garlic pictured above)

- tons of mixed lettuces (pictured above)
- ruccola (arugala or rocket)
- tons of parsley & basil

- TONS of tomatoes (pictured above) from cherry, 'ugly' (or heriloom), san martino as well as beefsteak
- 45 zucchini
- 20 melons
- 24 cucumbers
- 8 types of squash
- and a pumpkin (they call it the 'big yellow American squash')

The ever daunting task of watering - we are currently watering once a day, soon - twice. Watering is a slow process that takes about 2 hours to trickle water on the seedlings, only soaking the base of the plant.

I thought - oh this will be a cinch! just hook up the sprinkler. "Set it & forget it", right!? I had no idea the looks for horror I would receive at such an outlandish proclamation! Of course I should know better, if the leaves or the fruit get wet then this can bring a whole slew of problems & sicknesses to the plant. So... we continue to water with just a trickle.

This week we will start transfering most of the seedlings into the orto and contine starting seedlings for the rest of the plants - greens, cabbages & more!

It really is so exciting - I can't wait to eat'em up!
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