Friday, January 4, 2013

Hidden jewels

Some sunshine and a serious case of restlessness combined with a need to do something got me out into the garden today. Partly, I was curious about the state of the greens after some serious frost and mid-20's temps in the past week or so -- including the heaviest, today. I needn't have worried, for the most part.

What's behind the frost gard fabric? Lots of good stuff! Unfortunately, lots of weeds, too, which I mostly dispatched with my handy tool. The soil here is unbelievably loose and rich and beautiful -- nothing can get so deeply imbedded that it doesn't come up with relative ease. Even some of the big leeks that have been there for a long time.

Rainbow chard on the left, kale and romaine in the center, leeks of varying ages in the rear. The kale is sparse, mostly because I harvested most of it recently and it's growing back. It also looks a bit rough on the tips here and there from the cold, but may well recover. I think I commented recently how good this stuff is in a salad.

The romaine surprises me the most. I went out last week wanting to harvest some for lunch, found it frozen. Now, it's crisp and healthy as can be.

The chard isn't as successful as I'd like, although I've harvested and eaten some, need to do it again soon.

I didn't plant much garlic this year -- wasn't going to plant any because I didn't think I'd be here to harvest it. In the end I planted about a half patch, just in case. I'd hate to depend on grocery store garlic again.

I guess if there's one thing that comes to mind as a regret for leaving here when I think of doing that, it's the garden. I don't grow a lot anymore -- learned to grow what I can eat, not much more -- but I'll miss all the herbs, the garlic, the greens, the blueberries, and whatever I decide to plant from time to time. On the other hand, the weeds become harder to control around these beds each year. I can't keep up with them, am almost at the point of using Roundup, which goes against every grain in my body. Not IN the beds or near the food -- just in the walkways around the beds. Still.

And then there's that grocery store garlic to contend with, along with wilted greens and let's face it -- all this stuff tastes better and holds it's nutrients more if it's harvested moments before use. None of that will put a roof on this house, or transport it out of tornado alley, however.

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