In the Garden: Hello Summer!

My silence here this week is not only because of melancholy and exhaustion, also our computer has not been behaving itself.  There’s always something broken around here.  It keeps things interesting.

Ethan and I almost killed ourselves trying to get the summer garden built.  We’re mostly better, but I’m still bone-dead exhausted, and Ethan’s back still hurts.  Maybe we’re just old and decrepit at this point in our lives! There’s a rush this year because I want to have everything settled in when we leave for Europe in May.  Every time I look at the calender, I have a panic attack about how soon that is.

This is a transition time for the garden now – the warm weather made all sorts of things bolt and go to seed.  It turns out that a second January planting of Napa cabbage didn’t work out.  It bolted before heading.  The cows really enjoyed it, though.

I pulled a few of the second carrots out.  I’m not sure how I feel about these Paris Market carrots.  They are cute and sweet, but I rather like the long carrots.  A rogue turnip, that must have been washed into the middle of the path by rain or hose water, was also ready.

There’s nothing like having a garden to press you to eat vegetables. I picked all this kale and made kale chips.  I’ve never made kale chips, so I looked up some recipes online.  It was amazing the slew of vegan/low-fat/vegetarian websites I had to navigate through.  All of them sang the praises of kale for its nutritiousness, and mentioned that kale chips were a great way to incorporate more of this healthy vegetable into your diet.

We’re pretty far from trying to find ways to incorporate this vegetable into our diet.  It’s more of an urgent matter with us.  Ten plants, crying out to be picked.  Kale’s what we have to eat, if we’re not eating kolhrabi or pickled radishes.  This time of year, the vegetables seem to incorporate themselves, whether you like it or not. Luckily, the kale chips turned out delicious.  I ate all that kale myself, because it’s not as popular with the under-eleven crowd, and they were just so good.  More tomorrow!

AND –  if you happened to notice the two little orange spots – the calendula is blooming!  I picked them to dry.  There will be more later.

The kohlrabi continues to get larger and more intimidating.    The less you eat, the larger the vegetables become.  All you need for motivation for eating more vegetables is a garden, I think.  If you ignore them, they break down your door and shout at you.

Now that the rest of the garden has bolted, we can focus on these.  Interestingly, I got some white kolhrabi’s mixed in with the purple seeds.  It was nice to try them, too.  I almost thought I would get the green kind when I was buying the the seeds, because they are supposed to be able to get larger with out being woody.  But I had trouble imagining them getting too large in my poor garden, so I went with the purple for its pretty color.  I like them both, but the large purple one was certainly a little tougher than the green.

Just as the winter garden has exploded into masses of white, yellow, and purple brassica flowers, the tomatoes have been tucked into their places.  This is the in-between season now – the fading of winter, the coming of summer.  I noticed as I was hauling yet another load of hay and manure towards the unfinished parts of the garden, the smells have changed.

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