We’ve been busy bees. Not so much with cooking, but working on the yard and gardening. We were fortunate to find our dream home with a nice chunk of land last year, and while most of our focus has been inside the house, this spring we felt the urge to make use of our land and make it fruitful. While the goal is not to be self sufficient, we hope to grow edibles that would bring us many meals and years of enjoyment to come. We’ve never had a garden before, but we’re diving head first into it. Our plan is to have a vegetable garden mainly for heirloom tomatoes and an Asian garden as well as a Vietnamese herb garden. Scattered around the gardens we planted some tropical fruit trees as well as California natives. Want to see what it looks like? Above are tía tô (Vietnamese perilla) seedlings started from seeds from Mom’s garden back in Michigan.
Rau răm (Vietnamese coriander top left) was rooted from supermarket clippings. Super market clippings are a great way to start your Vietnamese herb garden on the cheap. Kinh giới (Vietnamese balm- top right) was also rooted from grocery clippings. Most herbs will root, choose the larger stem ones that are more mature and stick them in a cup of water near a window sill and transplant them to peat pots filled with starting mix when several roots to support the seedling.
This is the first time we’re growing blueberries and the nickle and dime sized fruits on the O’neals are almost ripe while the smaller but more abundant Misty and Sunshine varieties are still plumping up.
If you live in Southern California, stop by the markets in Little Saigon and they’ll sell small seedlings of ngò ôm (rice paddy herb) wrapped in plastic grocery bags. No it’s not for your carrying convenience, but how it’s grown. As the name implies, this herb grows in the rice paddies of Vietnam and love the hot and humid condition. Unless you have a greenhouse at home, you can similate a rice paddy by growing it in a large clear water dispenser container with it’s top cut off. It keeps the humidity in and also allows air to circulate.
This is also our first time ever planting tomatoes. We purchased heirloom Paul Robeson, Carmello, Black Plum, and Isis Candy seedlings from Laurel’s Heirloom Tomatoes in the Los Angeles South Bay area. It’s been about a month since we transplanted them into our raised bed and they’re growing vigorously, seemingly a few inches each day!
Finally, the fruit trees. One day we hope to have our very own orchard in the backyard, but for now we’re happy with our baby fuyu persimmon (top left), longan, cherimoya, and meyer lemon as well as lychee and black miss fig tree (not pictured) haven’t died yet.
Thanks for stopping by on our garden tour! All this is possible because of Dad, who’s been staying with us has been digging, planting, performing countless other garden tasks this month. Now that the seeds are sowed we’re praying we don’t kill off all the fruit trees and vegetables. We’ll keep you updated!