Eating home-grown snow peas in Tokyo winter


Last week I made a quick curry rice lunch using Muji curry plus a store-bought tomato and home-grown snow peas. Snow peas are now my favorite Tokyo winter plant: decorative, edible, fast-growing, and vertical.

I got inspired by seeing a neighbor’s garden in November, buying starter plants, and watching them grow, and finally eating them. There’s at least a few more lunches ripening just outside my high-rise kitchen.

Update: Digging in the canvas pot that holds one of the peas, I came across the nursery tag. Apparently the two varieties are called キヌサヤエンドウ and ゆうさや。

Eating balcony-grown watermelon

In San Francisco, my garden is shaded and the cold summer makes growing vegetables very difficult. It’s been fun this summer to grow a variety of vegetables in our sunny high-rise balcony in Tokyo. This weekend I harvested and ate my first home-grown watermelon.

It looks big in the photo above, no? Actually, the two fruit that formed were not much bigger than oranges. I kept hoping that they would get a bit bigger, but finally I decided to harvest them.

Here’s what it looked like cut open. It was very sweet and just right for one person.

To get a sense of the scale, you can see the two watermelons paired with a single cucumber below. The cucumber seems to go from tiny baby to full-size in just one week. It’s been a great summer vegetable, probably the most successful plant in the balcony farm. (There’s also eggplant, some very stunted corn, and 4 lemons).