We had the most wonderful surprise out of the garden yesterday.
I’ve had many things this week that kept me away from the weeding and planting that really must be done soon…
There are sad marigold starts, leggy sunflowers, and slow-to-start peppers left to be put somewhere.
And the constant rain that has been drizzling down on us nearly non-stop for three weeks has pushed the garden into Jungle Season early this year.
The tomato plants are heavy with jade green fruit, and the places i had tied them up look comical with all the new growth.
Whenever I pull the weeds it just shows how many cucumbers there are left to harvest, and we have lost the enthusiasm we had for cucumber salad a few weeks ago.
The giant pigs are lurking among the weeds at back quarter of the garden, hopefully making some space for the starts to go, along with the later-planted heat loving vegetables like Malabar spinach and callaloo. It makes me nervous when they are in an established garden, because they might knock the fence down and devour it.
They are behaving themselves so far, but their presence gives the impression of heavy wild animals tromping through the jungle.
My oldest daughter has gotten an enthusiasm for Japanese cuisine, and with lots of eggs for noodles, onions with green tops, and some pork broth that was so simmered down it sticks your lips together when you eat it on hand, she wanted to make ramen for dinner.
I had woken up after collapsing into a late afternoon nap brought on by waking up at dawn many days in a row and working hard until late at night in high heat and drowsy humidity, faced with with an unfamiliar cuisine with high expectations.
Still half asleep, I flipped through the ramen cookbook we found at the library and realized we had chosen the wrong season to check it out. Not a single recipe featured squash, cucumbers, amaranth leaves, or unripe tomatoes (this is why i have to make up my own recipes!).
I announced to the family that i would try my best to come up with something that might in some way, some how slightly resemble Japanese ramen, which seems to insist on mustard greens. Armed with a basket and harvesting knife, i wandered into the garden….
I tried to feel inspired. Squash blossom ramen? Jamaican-Japanese callaloo fusion? Actually, i might try those ideas out next week, but as i was looking at what was ready for harvest, i wandered over to the pole beans. They badly need weeded.
When I got closer, I realized the “weeds” were actually hundreds of Asian mustard green volunteers – mizuna, komatsuna, bekana, tatsoi, and even radishes that I had left to go to seed from the fall garden.
Wild vegetables and garden magic! (And the ramen turned out delicious).
Sometimes a little neglect leaves some space for unexpected magical things to happen.