Green Up Your Act
I am such a slacker.
I know, you don't believe me. You may even think I'm some kind of food preservation superhero, running on pickle fumes all summer long. But I'm not.
Really, I would far rather go straight home at the end of the day and curl up in a sunny patch of grass with a book, especially if someone would hand my dinner to me. But my life isn't like that, so I'm muddling through the best I can, trying to cram everything into an already full schedule.
That's why I still haven't geared myself up for twice-weekly garden visits. I'll plan a garden visit for a certain day, plug it into my calendar, and then whine internally all day about being too tired and isn't it supposed to rain and I really ought to get home and oh, fine, I'll go.
And I set out after work, mumbling to myself about all the work I need to get done and dragging my feet along the paths.
But today, with the sunshine and the mid-70-degree (very mild!) breezes buoying me along the way, I had a quick little (and much-needed) attitude adjustment. It was a beautiful afternoon, and I had nothing else scheduled -- so why not enjoy a leisurely walk, sit down and have a drink of water when I arrived, take my time weeding and picking and enjoying the beauty of the earth, and then stroll home? Not only do I remember why I garden, but I also remember how to relax.
Well, all right, then. I can do that!
So I arrived at the garden ready to appreciate all the greenery...
Everything is still growing like mad, but today I actually looked at it as an oasis of serenity and hope. Even as I weeded, I recognized that I didn't need to rush through the work. I sat down in the lush grass to pluck tender leaves off the last of the mizuna and the pac choi (both of which I pulled because they've gotten too big and mostly ill-flavored).
Among the highlights of today's visit:
One of the tomatoes escaped from its cage and has sprawled all over the carrots. I definitely need to tie it up a little better, but that will have to wait until later this week, perhaps when My Dear Papa can help. (It's already a big bruiser of a plant.) In order to rescue the carrots, I started picking a few of those, thinning out the row, and ended up with a handful of very small and slender Nantes carrots.
The Hopi red amaranth now mostly stands about waist-high, but I still found some smaller seedlings to pick so that I can add the tender leaves to salads. (I cleaned out the rest of the lettuce, too, filling a couple of containers with the last leaves.) I also picked a third round of the kai lan planted in front of the amaranth.
The Tiger Eye beans are blossoming nicely, so I hope I'll see some pod development there soon. There's still not much movement on the cannellini and garbanzo patches, I'm afraid, but I did pick almost all the rest of the fava pods because I just can't resist such yummy beans. It looks like there are more flowers on the fava stalks -- perhaps I'll get a second crop?
After about an hour in the garden, I had cleaned up most of the weeds, cleared a few rows of the early greens, and had picked enough produce to rival my weekly CSA pickup!
Middle, left to right: carrots, purslane, fava beans, scallions
Bottom, left to right: kai lan, amaranth
I walked home slowly, taking my sweet time on the hills, and pondered both future meals and preservation from the day's harvest as well as upcoming blog posts. (I know, I think about food way too much, probably...)
I had already planned to make a local quiche for dinner, with local butter and spelt flour in the crust I baked this morning and local broccoli, eggs, and cheddar -- as well as a few tiny scallions from the garden -- in the filling. But I then added a salad made almost entirely (save for the red leaf lettuce from last week's CSA) from today's pickings: the last lettuce, some mizuna, a few amaranth leaves, and a few nasturtium leaves, with chopped cucumber (CSA) and tiny carrots (my garden) on top. A heavenly reward for all my work!
I might be whiny again the next time I need to head to the garden, but maybe today's relaxing experience will make it easier.
I can hope!