Sunday, February 3, 2013

Rule #30: Gardening surprises can be super exciting!

When I went into the hoop house the other day to pick some radicchio and check on how things were looking under there, I was not shocked to see that many of the chicory had rotting leaves and the Puntarelle chicories were not doing so well.  I was not surprised since when it turned very warm here I just could not even get out to open the door and air out the heat because the girls were both sick with the flu and other secondary infections.  I cleaned out the bad leaves, picked some radicchio, and didn't have time for more that day (that was a few days ago).  Then tonight I knew I needed to get in there really quick and tackle the Puntarelle.  I just cut them down because they were mostly beyond saving and many interior leaves were slimy and brown.  I was able to collect some leaves to cook.  Then I noticed a few that were doing ok and actually opening up more.  I did some investigating and could not believe what I was seeing.  After trying to force some in the garage with little success, I kind of gave up on figuring out how to get the "points"(at least for this year) and was happy to eat the greens.  But it turns out that  two are actually starting the points and these look very different than the ones that started to force in the garage.  These are looking like the beginnings of what I have seen online in the Italian markets!!!!!!  We shall see how it goes, but I am very optimistic. One of the plants needed some cleaning up but the other is totally healthy.  The one problem is that I used two different varieties (Brindisina and Galantina) and I just am not sure which one this is!  During the sowing process I did have an idea which variety was where, but due to lack of time I didn't keep track when I transplanted!  I'll be sure to keep track next growing season!
The healthier of the two

The points inside starting to form
I had to trim this one up a bit

The inside 


  1. Your Puntarelle looks like the red dandelions that I grew. What are the "points", how and when do you harvest? I am going to Google to learn more.

  2. I love it when the garden gives me happy suprises. So often it can be the other kind - but the occassional good news event makes it quite worthwhile!

  3. Good luck. I hope they grow well now.

  4. I'm growing chickory, but am really not sure how to cook it. Even if we humans don't appreciate chickory, my chickens and native green bees adore it.

  5. Will be intersting to see how they develop, good luck !