Monday, May 5, 2014

The Future of Supper

Spring is finally warming up, and in a big way. I've brought in a lot of the lettuce to store in the fridge, because the upcoming several-days-in-a-row of above 85 degrees F weather is likely to make what's left in the garden turn bitter.
Peas beginning to form.

Some of the other crops, though, are approaching their most shining time in the garden. One of those crops is the peas, which are beginning to make actual peas in the several areas where they are planted.

Two of those patches will be left to make food for humans, the rest will be cut down -- some to feed to my pet bunnies (who love pea shoots), and some to turn into the soil to feed the microscopic critters underground.
Potato foliage in the foreground, Allium family crops in the back.

The foliage on the potatoes is looking good, too. The little flowers indicate that potatoes are beginning to form underground.

Over the weekend, I added more compost around the leafy stems, partly to keep the soil as cool as possible for as long as possible, and partly to add a little more depth around the stems.

In general, potatoes are more productive when soil is "hilled" around the stems of the plants. The close spacing in these beds doesn't leave much room for hilling up the nearby soil, but adding more to the top of the bed should have the same effect. At least, that's the dream!
Big basket of spinach, that cooked down to about three cups.

Strawberries under netting.
I brought in the spinach over the weekend, too. It looked like a lot of food when I packed it all into the basket to bring inside, but that whole load of leaves cooked down to only about three cups.

We divided the cooked leaves into three portions and put them in the freezer for future meals.

Joe and I had been talking last week about our version of Shepherd's Pie; when the potatoes are ready to harvest, we are going to want this spinach to make some.
Cilantro bolting to flower in the warmer days of May.

The strawberries are starting to add their bright color and flavor to meals (we had some last night). Straight from the garden, they taste like spring!

Other berries in the yard are in flower, but it will be a few more weeks before any of the brambleberries are ready for eating.
As the days have begun to warm, the cilantro has decided that it's time to finish its life cycle and put out flowers and seeds. No one is especially happy about this development (it seems early), but I will be planting seeds for more, soon.

Meanwhile, we will all just enjoy what we have. Joe and I will be using some of the larger leaves from closer to the base of each plant in some guacamole tonight, and our bunnies will be eating some of the taller flowering stems that have bolted up from the base.

There is a little trellis behind the cilantro patch that I've planted a few "Greasy Beans" underneath. When the cilantro is finally in sad enough shape that I pull it up, there will be beans twining up from behind to fill that space. In my mind, it is already beautiful.

And this last picture isn't of plants (or supper), it is of two Best Friends, Holstein and Darwin -- two of my pet bunnies. Holstein is less symmetrical than she used to be. Her face is a little lopsided, and she lists to the right when she walks. The vet said she'd had a "neurological event," which I'm interpreting to mean that she'd had a stroke. She and Darwin are usually pressed right up together, even when they are eating their bunny salad. They are happy to eat the good food that is growing in our garden!
Holstein and Darwin think everything grown in the garden is for them.

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