Late Spring Veggies.

The garden looks just about as full right now, as I’d expect it to in August. But spring has just as much abundance as autumn and much more enthusiasm with the budding life and the refreshingly warm air. It has a few more months before the warmth turns stale and the air becomes stagnant.  No, right now the abundance is with the cleansing greens of spinach, chard and lettuce. Even the herbs, which we’re pairing with everything from salad to spaghetti and stir-fry, are already plentiful. When things are planted in the fall of the previous year, it barely takes a week of warm weather for the little plants to reach maturity. And sometimes it even seems too fast. The overwintered broccoli, cabbages, greens and lettuce go to seed pretty quickly, so we really have to keep at them, harvesting just as soon as they are maturing. We’ve already pulled up several flowering heads of lettuce. But no worry, they were quickly replaced by little bell peppers, eggplants and tomatoes.

the front yard

the front yard

One thing that hasn’t come as quickly as we’d hoped are the beets. Patience, I know. We sowed the seeds directly into the ground in February, but the 6″ of snow a few weeks later really prevented them from germinating until March. We ate 2 little bitty beets last week, and they were beautiful. Another slow-grower are the carrots. Fortunately, the radishes helped prevent too much nibbling by whatever it was that was nibbling, and they are starting to look quite healthy.

First beets

First beets

A new addition to the diet this week was peas! Snow peas, which are really more about the pod since they barely even make peas, and snap peas, which are also about the pod but absolutely crisp and plump, they are one of my favorite spring-time snacks.

Snap Peas

Snap Peas

Other things that are chugging along nicely are the cilantro, leeks, fennel, and even 2 patty pan squashes. No doubt they will soon take over their allotted space. But we have had some trouble with the broccoli. For one thing, they were planted a little too densely, and we had to remove a few to give the rest the space they need to sprawl. And second, the cabbage worms have been chomping. We first noticed the holes in the leaves, and then found the little green worms that do the damage. So just about everyday, we have to squat down and search, top and bottom, for the worms, pick them off and squish them. This is the most effecting method for a small-scale organic garden.

In the row: Cilantro, leeks, broccoli, fennel, squash, dill, basil

In the row: Cilantro, leeks, broccoli, fennel, squash, dill, basil

I imagine that by mid-may we’ll be up to our ears in chard and spinach, and hopefully beets too. Food season has arrived, and even though we still go, we hardly need to buy veggies at the farmers market any more. Now we go for the good people.

In this mess: spinach, cilantro (volunteer), chard, tomatoes

In this mess: spinach, cilantro (volunteer), chard, tomatoes

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