Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Off to a Slow Start

I'm having a really difficult time getting the garden started this year. On the days when it is not raining, I have no energy or am out of town or have appointments or errands to run.

When I'm ready to garden...it rains. Or the ground is still too wet from the previous rain to do anything with.

The 1/3 of the garden that I planted seems sort of, well, sparse. As of June 2, the lettuce was coming up pretty well, so I think I'll have plenty of that to eat. The spinach wasn't doing as well, but the radishes (not pictured) are flourishing. I'll have radishes very soon. Beets (also not pictured), I'm not too sure about yet.

I have a lot of volunteer tomato plants in this section of the garden (which is where the 40+ plants I had last year lived), and I suspect they'll bear pretty well this year, too. I've decided to let them live in this part of the garden--a little "chaos gardening," if you will. A garden shouldn't be too neat; let Mother Nature have a bit of her way! (Maybe she'll be kind to the neater parts if she feels appeased by the chaos.)

Another 1/3 of the garden is ready for planting...if the rain will stop. The final 1/3 of the garden still needs to be tilled, but I think our tiller died. We have some checking to do before we know for sure.

Today, June 8, I picked up our weekly CSA share, which included three heads of lettuce, one bunch of beets, one bunch of garlic scapes, one head of broccoli, one healthy bunch of cilantro, and a few sugar snap peas. We still have all the greens left over from last week's pickup, so we are up to our ears in greens!

As a result, we ate our very first fresh salads of the season tonight for dinner--a mixture of lettuce, beet greens, and arugula from last week's CSA pickup, along with some radish slices, broccoli pieces, and some crumbled feta cheese, topped off with an asiago-peppercorn dressing.
One or more of the beets will end up combined with carrots and apples as juice, and the rest will get cooked and diced for salads or snacking. The broccoli is likely for snacking (not quite enough yet to cook f or two people for dinner), as are the sugar snap peas. The cilantro is currently in the dehydrator; the dill it replaces is now in jars, ready to be used on seafood or perhaps in some garlic-cheese biscuits.

I am really enjoying the CSA. We're eating foods we wouldn't have otherwise tried (or even thought to try), and I'm learning a lot about them. Each week, Henry's sister, Terra, sends out an e-mail that tells us what foods we are likely to be getting, provides us with some background on the more unusual foods, and serves up recipes as suggestions for how to use the produce. I wouldn't have even thought to eat beet leaves--I've always dumped them into the compost pile. Now the compost worms only get the stems; we eat the roots and the leaves! I'm looking forward to experimenting with foods a lot more this summer.

Now, if I can only get my own garden moving...

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