Thursday, May 04, 2006

What's Growin' On: 5/4/06

Just Picked

Realization Of The Day:
No matter what heartwrenching things life throws at you, you still gotta eat. And there's no reason not to eat well. Life goes on. The garden grows on. And I am here.

From Garden To Table:
Salad stuff! The photo above contains 7 different things I harvested last evening for our dinner salads: 'fake' scallions, arugula, two kinds of beet 'greens' (they're red), baby purple kohlrabi leaves (gorgeous), Petite Rouge lettuce, and yes, believe it or not, those are actually a few leaves of incredibly delicious spinach I managed to grow. I think I got six plants out of about 100 seeds (two different varieties--New Zealand & Bloomsdale) planted. Better than nothing, but really more of a tease than anything else.

Last night we had one of our favorite easy dinners--what we call a 'picnic,' (though we never eat it outdoors). A loaf of freshly baked crusty bread, sprinkled with coarse salt and still warm from the oven, slices of homegrown, grass-fed roast beef leftover from the night before, assorted cheeses, the sweetest organic carrot and celery sticks (courtesy of Earthbound Farm), and of course a couple of fabulous salads. Red wine for me, homebrewed beer for Joe. Spread it all out on platters and help yourself to whatever you like. Eating with your fingers is encouraged. Joe makes adorable little sandwiches with mustard. I prefer my bread torn apart and slathered with nothing but organic butter. This is always an enjoyable, leisurely meal.

Soon it will be prime picnic season, and the garden will provide us with plates piled high with various kinds and colors of heirloom tomatoes, sweet red and orange peppers, lemon cucumbers splashed with balsamic vinegar, my favorite Dragon Langerie beans, and more bounty I am doubtless forgetting. But that is for later. For now there are salads.

Think you are surrounded by picky eaters who would never allow such exotic plants on their plate? You just may be surprised. Last night I asked Joe if he wanted a salad or just sliced veggies with his picnic, and he immediately said just the veggies would be fine. Then he caught himself (and a look at the colander of freshly picked greens) and said "Am I crazy? I'll have a salad!" This is from someone who ate nothing but Iceburg lettuce just a few short years ago.

Mostly rained out yesterday. We've had about 6 inches of rain in a week, including another huge thunderstorm last night. Yesterday afternoon we arrived home from running errands just as storm hit. It was the kind of downpour that blasted us with 3/4" of rain in the first 5 minutes--and had us frantically placing 11 buckets and bowls around our leaky kitchen. Humidity this morning is 80% in the house. Everything inside and out feels soggy. The wet weather creek just started running by the house, which is always nice. Something so soothing about the sound of running water (when it isn't flowing through the kitchen ceiling of course).

I did manage to do a little gardening yesterday inbetween the raindrops. Transplanted 6 Italian Flat Leaf parsley seedlings into individual plugs, moved the recently impulse purchased (but totally rationalized) campanulas into beautiful old white ceramic pots, and started some Large Leaf Basil seeds. This was an experiment: instead of scattering them in a little tray and then picking out the sprouted seedlins and transferring them into individual plugs, I filled 66 plugs with composty soil and dropped just one tiny seed in each plug. I covered them with the lightest sprinkling of compost and watered well. This should save me some time and effort. We shall see. I did this a few months ago with some lettuce, but I put several seeds in each plug and they all germinated. I ended up just sticking the lumps of seedlings into the garden rather than trying to separate them, and it ended up working out okay. Once they grew a bit I just thinned them out. Not a picture perfect job, but whatever it takes to make it to the plate is my motto!

And I think that is all for today. I need to slip back into my rubber boots, check on my manure factory empire, and then see if it's too wet out there to plant some more beans, clean out another raised bed to make room for chard and other greens, and put the 'fill-in' asparagus roots I ordered that have been soaking in kelp water for two days now. I mentioned last night to Joe that I hoped the asparagus roots would be okay after soaking so long, and he brought up a good point: "It's just as wet in the garden!"


  1. Your picnic sounds wonderful. Our weather is just behind yours, I think. Glad to see you here. :)

  2. I'm so relieved that your "break" from blogging didn't last too long. I have been reading you daily for 2 weeks now (and stayed up LATE to read all the archives). I was a little paniky about not having my vicarious farm fix. And- with your unknowing encouragement, have planted my 3 little raised beds with radishes, carrots, onions, herbs, tomatoes and lettuces. We're thinking about some backyard chickens (Silicon Valley), but for now have to buy our manure!

  3. i just came across your writing and i love it! such great info and stories and pictures. you're such an inspiring person, i'm off to plant some nasturtiums for my window - i love their spicy leaves, mmmm. ;)

  4. I'm glad you're here, Farmgirl.

    We got a drenching rain, too...and not a moment too soon. I may just be able to wrench a shovel into the ground and dig the last few of my garden rows now.

  5. I'm glad your break was a short one and you can send some of that rain my way.

  6. Glad you're back. You are such an inspiraton.

  7. Glad to hear you're getting cheered by the salad greens. We're looking forward to that as well. I'm getting totally addicted to your blog and have dug myself in so deep with your links that I've got to go back now and read all the archives. Awesome, awesome!


March 2013 update: My apologies for the inconvenience - I know word verification is a pain - but I've had to turn it on to help stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I've been getting every day. Thanks for your understanding.

Welcome to! Thanks so much for taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love to hear about what's going on in your own garden. I know, too, that other readers also delight in reading about your garden successes, failures, helpful tips, and lessons learned. Feel free to leave comments on older posts!

I try my best to answer all questions, but sometimes it takes me a few days to get to them. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy your visits to my kitchen garden!