Wednesday, March 25, 2009

One man's trash is another man's treasure......

This does look like "garden trash" at the curb waiting to be picked up doesn't it? Exactly what I thought as I rode by on my bike last evening on the way to the Seminole Bike Trail for an evening ride. On my way home however, I took a better look at this stack and realized that this homeowner had pulled out perfectly good and healthy plants from his yard. Without much effort, I realized that this stack of greenery on "death row" contained several bunches of Bird-of-Paradise plants just waiting to be picked up the next day by the trash men. Plants on "death Row" waiting for the trash men pick up.
I thought about these plants most of the evening, especially following the day spent in my Master Gardener class, and decided that these plants must be rescued. It appeared that no one was at home to ask permission to take their trash, I suppose that is proper protocol, so without hesitation, I removed what I could quickly, stacked it in my yard and decided I would figure out what to do with these plants later. I even hoped that the trash men would not pick up the balance of them since they were not properly tied together. I was thinking I could go back later and rescue more.
I came up with a plan. If you peak behind my fountain several of the bunches of plants already found their new home. Here is another view of the newly planted Birds-of-Paradise that I proudly photographed after planting. I have already spoken to a homeowner who is preparing to list their home in Sanford with me in a few weeks and she will happily pick up some of the remaining plants to enhance her home's curb-appeal.
Getting back to my Master Gardener class, this is what I brought home. Can you guess what it is, do you have any idea? It is called Veronica or Romanesco, which is a spiraled head of cauliflower grown in the garden behind the Seminole County Cooperative Extension Office, in Sanford, Florida, where my training is held.
The head of this cauliflower is lime green with pointed, spiraled pinnacles, with a mild nutty taste. I will remove the little spirals, steam them and add them to my cauliflower or broccoli. It definitely will be a conversation piece. The leaves of this plant I imagine can be sauteed in olive oil with some garlic as you would this type of leafy vegetable, or used in a smoothie with other vegetables and fruit. Some additional souvenirs of this weeks class were seedlings to grow my own Veronica Cauliflower at home and another of assorted greens. The 4 bright red seeds are from the Cardboard Palm or Zamia Furfuracea, a native Florida plant. If you are wondering, of coarse I will attempt to grow them.
If you are wondering who would or could, or would even want to identify these strange items in my photos....... here is a picture of the students in my Seminole County, Florida, Master Gardener training course........they all could identify these items.
If you are wondering where is the nearest Master Gardener program for you and who do you contact about joining, Master Gardener Programs are usually organized by the county and are overseen by the County Extension office. To find a program closest to you, visit your local county website and click on the Extension Office information or do an Internet search for information.
Have fun in your garden!!

1 comment:

Permission to Mother said...

I'm glad you got those beautiful plants and a listing!

Yep, the greens can probably be put in a smoothie.