Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Weed Eater Accident, Lettuce, and Fruitful Surprises

Today was certainly an exciting day in my garden. Even the cloudy day didn't dampen my mood. It was mostly good news... Unfortunately, my large and beautiful stevia plant is no longer. This is all that's left in the pot.

Now let me tell you the reason. Cam was weed eating the grass around the front vegetable bed, and the extension cord on the electric weed eater knocked the pot over and snapped the plant in two. We think the small plant that's left is another stevia plant, so we're going to continue to care for it and see what happens.

In the mean time, Cam and I are going to try to dry these leaves and turn them into a powder for sweetening. We still need to learn how to do this, but it'll be a fun experiment.

As for the plant, Cam picked off most of the stevia leaves to dry. He dunked the stem in water to see if it will sprout new roots. We tried this on a tomato stem, and it worked. And hopefully the stevia plant will sprout as well.

Onto happier news. I decided to "harvest" our largest lettuce head. It hadn't turned into a head yet, but it was large enough and I was getting impatient. (Cam says "you and patience are not friends." LoL. I am impatient). Well, we also have two other lettuce heads that are growing at a brisk pace, and we can't eat all of them at once.

Here are some pictures of the "harvest."

Picture 1: Getting ready to cut.
Picture 2: Separation
Picture 3: The happy gardener

And to think, this lettuce was a small seedling only a month ago. Here is its "baby" picture. Time sure flies. First, you're raising a cute, little baby, and the next thing you know, they've graduated and end up in your tummy.

Now onto more talk of my impatience. I found one red and one pink strawberry today from the strawberry plant that I put in the SFG box # 2.

It was only yesterday that it was barely showing any color. And today, it was red and delicious. Cam told me to wait to see if the strawberry would get bigger in size, but I couldn't wait. I compromised and told him that I'd wait for the other strawberry to get bigger.

Note: the strawberry looks much bigger than it actually is. My hand is tiny! Don't believe me? Here's a picture of my small hand in Cam's palm.

Below: picture of the strawberry pickin'

In other fruit news, my concord grape vine is finally producing hope of grapes. There are only two grape bunches, but I think the grapes are starting to come in. I can't wait until they get bigger and I can chomp down!

And in other berry news: my boysenberry bush is producing colorful fruit. We've had the bush for 3 weeks, and it's only fruited green berries so far. But today, I noticed some of the berries are ripening! I'm so excited. I can't wait to eat them. I think they end up being a very dark maroon when they are ripe. I want to eat them before the birds take a nibble!

By the way, does anyone know how to prune boysenberries? I've just let it grow out so far, and it seems to be doing well, but maybe I need to prune it.


Frances, said...

Hi DP, I think you did the right thing to go ahead and pick the lettuce. It cannot be eaten all at once, as you say, so start harvest now! Your strawberry was perfect for picking too, once they turn red, they don't get any larger, might as well beat the birds to them. Your boysenberries look just like my raspberries, they are starting to turn also. This is our first year with them so we don't know how to prune them either. I will check to see if someone leaves you a comment on that so I can learn too. Maybe your stevia will root, it looks promising, good luck with that.
Frances at Faire Garden

tina said...

On no! Not tragedy in the garden! On a good note, that is good looking lettuce.

Gail said...


Wow, you have an impressive amount of
produce and plants producing. I'm with Frances better you eat the strawberry than a bird...when I did grow tomatoes some creature would come by just before it was time to pick them and take one bite out of each one!

I use stewvia from the little packets! How do you harvest it and then use it?

Clay and limestone

DP Nguyen said...

Hi Gail,

I'm not quite sure the "correct" way to harvest stevia. I've read that some people pinch off the leaves (like we've done), and others cut off the entire plant (like we accidentally did). You dry the leaves outside or somewhere with excellent air flow, and then you can store the dry leaves or you can grind it into powder.

That's what I've read. I'm going to try it and see what happens!

Thanks for visiting!

Anonymous said...


i am from the philippines. I wonder how you grew your stevia? Did it come from seeds or you bought plantlings?

I am not a blogger. I would apprecaite if you could provide copy or your reply at my e-mail,

I enjoyed the pics of your plants.