First of the 2009 harvest

Dried Oregano from the Garden by neocles, on Flickr

Dried Oregano from the Garden by neocles, on Flickr

We’ve had a few things from the garden so far this year, although it has been rather a disappointing one so far. A couple other people I talked to reported the same thing: things just didn’t seem to grow much through the spring. In my case, peppers, eggplant, basil and even some radishes, just didn’t really do anything. My guess is that we had too much fog this spring. (Never mind that today begins a little NorCal heatwave.)

Some other things, however, are doing fine. I have already dried about a quart and a half of Greek oregano. Many, many years ago my mom managed to bring back some oregano shoots from Greece and planted them at the house in Fresno. I had forgotten all about that, But when we were moving her up to the bay area, one of the things I noticed was a scraggly clump of oregano way in the back of the yard, past the grapevines. I was pretty sure this was the stuff from Greece, so I dug it up and planted it in my garden here. It is definitely different from the leafy stuff you get that the nurseries here. The leaves are very small, usually sparse, on long leggy stems. I understand that the Greeks don’t use the leaves much. They cut the stems when they are loaded with unopened flower buds and dry the buds. It is intensely aromatic. Maybe commercial oregano here is done the same way. I don’t really know.

Apricot Stilts by neocles, on Flickr

Apricot Stilts by neocles, on Flickr

The fruit trees are all happy this year, and of course the first crop to come in is the apricots. The tree got pretty loaded with fruit again this year, and again I couldn’t bring myself to thin it. But I was determined to avoid broken branches this year, so, I made some supports. It looks kinda greek hillbilly but it gets the job done. I think I’ll have enough for a few pints of jam.