Thursday, June 21, 2007

What's Growin' On: 6/21/07

Flowering Radishes In The Garden

Realization Of The Day:
I need to put up something here--anything. Even if it is just a picture of a couple of little radish flowers.

I have no idea how it got to be the first day of summer already. It seems like just last week I was covering up plants in the greenhouse and fretting about that nasty hard freeze in April. Okay, maybe not last week. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the flurry of passing time--and unflurry of activity in your garden--know that you're not alone.

I started in March 2006 as a personal online gardening journal, a sort of side dish to Farmgirl Fare, my food and farm blog, that would hopefully help me keep better track of my efforts in the garden. Last year was a definite success. It's wonderful to be able to look back at all the growings-on, especially since I have to admit I've already forgotten many of the details.

I'm also a little in awe. How in the world did I have time to not only do so much in the garden, but document it all as well? Lambing Season 2007, my biggest and busiest yet, had something to do with it I know, but that excuse only lasts so long. And it ended quite a while ago.

Nearly every day I've taken photos of the garden, had all sorts of realizations, and written up dozens of blog posts in my head. But they must have been rootbound because none of them ever made it as far as my typing fingers.

I consider myself incredibly behind in the garden this year (I actually bought tomato and pepper plants for the first time since I've lived in the country!), but at the same time, a lot has been happening.

In early March I seeded an entire 4' x 8' raised bed with spinach and had my best crop ever, harvesting scrumptious baby leaves for at least a month and a half.

I spent weeks and weeks picking all sorts of gorgeous lettuces that had so much flavor I often found myself shaking my head in disbelief.

I grew two types of radishes, ate my fill sliced in salads, then waited until there was enough to use in a recipe for braised radishes a Farmgirl Fare reader had suggested, prepped the harvest, and promptly forgot about it in the refrigerator--then learned that even baby chicks will turn up their beaks at aged radishes.

I put in a new strawberry bed.

I foolishly planted seeds of my two of my favorite varieties of skinny little bush beans in late March, Straight'N'Narrow and Masai, which all sprouted (something that rarely happens for one reason or another) and then all promptly froze to death, despite my covering them with floating row covers and old bedsheets.

I just got around to re-planting both types of beans this past week.

I did, and am still doing, a lot of bizarre experimenting, mostly due to running late and laziness.

I succeeded in having Swiss chard either ready to pick or in the fridge ready to be eaten almost every single day of last fall, winter, and spring.

I totally forgot to start any basil seeds.

I stopped long enough to notice just how pretty tiny radish flowers are.

I finally put up something on my long neglected garden blog.

It should only get easier from here. Happy first day of summer. And a big hello to all the new readers and e-mail subscribers.

Coming Up:
--How to grow your own gourmet lettuce--it's easier than you might think!
--How to grow Swiss chard from seed & why you should, plus two original Swiss chard recipes I'm now addicted to.
--More regularly scheduled posts--I hope.