welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Thursday, April 22, 2021

garden news-volunteers in the garden


yesterday when i entered the garden early in the morning just as the sun peaked  over the trees i looked around 
i could see all these volunteers in the garden
not humans
some edible
some not edible
some vegetables
some flowers

this sunflower above appeared in my garden path a few weeks ago
i am sure some bird planted it for me
since it was not in my way i decided to let it stay there
this unknown volunteer sunflower

last week it was about 5 ft tall 
this week it is well over 6 ft tall

its some type of giant sunflower
time will tell if it has one big seed head on it or several smaller seed heads

the sunflower will provide nectar and pollen and food for bees butterflies and birds 
the bees crawl all over it
after the seeds all form i will either leave it hanging for the birds to eat
i might cut off the seed head and let the chickens eat the sunflower seeds

i plan on leaving the stalk in place
at the base i will either plant a red malabar spinach vine pictured below
i might plant a vining tatume squash
both of them will vine all the way up the sunflower stalk

this is borage
it is a bee magnet
it seeds through out the garden 
if its not in the way i just leave it in place
the blue flowers are edible
i use them in salads for color

these are poppies that are also all over our garden
i have a lot of them along the outside border of my garden bed
if they arent in the way i leave them in place
sometimes though they pop up in the wrong place so sadly i have to remove them
recently i had to remove some so i brought them home to put in a flower arrangement
ms b informed me
you know you arent suppose to pick the poppies
she was listening to her kindergarten teacher

this is chamomile
it has the right of way in our garden
this one popped up in the walkway between the onion bed and the leek bed
the white flowers have all fallen off 
those orange flowers in the picture above are poppies that havent opened up yet

several human volunteers in the garden harvest the chamomile for chamomile tea 

here many people look at purslane as a weed
i know in texas i use to buy it every year and plant it in the garden
it has a pretty flower on  it
this one is a yellow version
it is a succulent i think

i harvest it to use it in salads

we get a lot of it in the garden here 
sometimes i will pull it up since it grows like in a mat
then i place it around my vegetables as a mulch

this is purple amaranth
it is a grain 
soybean farmers for example see it as a invasive weed
the grain that purple plume at the top can be harvested and used as a grain
you can buy amaranth grains at the supermarket

i use it like this 
the small tender leaves are harvested and used in salads
the larger leaves are harvested and used in stir fries or in a pot of greens with collards or kale or swiss chard

this is a volunteer malibar spinach vine 
its ancestor was bought years ago at the natural gardener in austin texas
it reseeds every year

the day we drove from austin to santa barbara i harvested several of the baby plants
placed them in a zip lock bag
on arrival three years ago i planted them in my garden

we use the smaller leaves in salads
the bigger leaves we use in spinach casseroles or my wife she makes a mean sag paneer with it 

this is a volunteer tomato that i found growing in my garden path 
i dug it up and transplanted it into the large tomato bed we have in the community garden
i labelled it
the mystery tomato

so in our community garden we use a lot of volunteers to take care of our garden
we also use these volunteers above in our garden
i must say this time of year 
these plant volunteers are the showcase in the garden

this is one reason i volunteer myself

the organicgreen doctor

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