Hello from the late May garden. This is the time of year I do most of my fretting over the garden. It's the seeds that do it to me. Will they come up? What if they don't come up? Does it look like they're coming up? It's been five days, I don't see anything! I better re-seed.
And so goes my worry mind.
For the most part, everything is coming along really well. The tomatoes are already bigger than they were just days ago, and flowering. The onions and cucumbers are surprising me with how fast they're growing. The first round of spinach is knee high, and the broccoli is just stunning -- we've already harvested two massive heads, and a third will become a part of dinner tonight.
The strawberries are in, and producing quite well, though I think my hopes of jam are overly optimistic. The last few days we're picking them by the handful, but they're all consumed within minutes of being pulled from the plant, sun-warmed and perfectly sweet.
But, my greens -- specifically my lettuces, kale, and chard -- are just not germinating very well at all. We've been trying to sweeten our soil for the last several years, it's quite acidic, and I know that's part of the problem. The flea beetles, too, are munching on every little sprout that pokes it's head through the soil making it difficult for the poor plants to even get going. Also, it's been quite a dry spring in these parts, although earlier this week we received two inches of rain in two hours, but gosh, the ensuing flood didn't do much for those delicate seedlings. I do have lettuce, kale and collards growing in several other spots -- mixed in with my perennials, and herbs -- outside of the garden proper. There is enough, in fact, that I'm eating two salads a day, and I think I will even begin freezing kale soon. But, you know, can one have too many greens? I think not.
That's the thing with gardening. You just never know what Mother Nature will throw at you. So I'll continue to re-seed, and I'll continue to fret a bit, and I'll continue to believe in tomorrow's bounty.
Friday night we headed out for a spontaneous dinner picnic (my favorite of all picnics). We'd intended on going to a trail nearby, but by the time we got off the mountain we were engulfed in a major rainstorm. Reluctantly we merged on to the highway only to realize moments later that there were two different accidents because of the heavy downpour. We exited the highway one mile into our trip, took the backroad back to town to avoid all the accident traffic, and arrived at a park in town just as the rain let up.
We walked around the lake, saw a giant snake, may or, may not have chased the baby geese, reminisced as we watched high schoolers decked out in their prom gowns and tuxes pose for photographs by the lake, and enjoyed a simple little picnic while the kids ran and ran and ran. It was small town bliss.
Saturday was all about homestead chores. We finished getting the garden in (a proper garden post coming soon.) and, I made time to check in on the honey bees. All three hives appear to be doing well, and the girls are bringing in mad amounts of pollen. Go, girls, go!
Sunday started out kind of blah, but those blues were chased away as soon as I headed over to Amanda's for her beautifully curated handmade/homegrown swap party. I spent four hours (four hours!) without my children (!) with a dozen, or so women sharing stories, and swapping goods. I left smiling, feeling satiated on many levels, and I had a basket-full of love-infused homemade offerings. Oh, that was a good afternoon.
The goods I brought home~ lemon surface cleaner, hand lotion, rosemary infused honey, a set of five photo cards, two lavender sachets, owie balm & sting salve, strawberry rhubarb jam, and a photo transferred reclaimed barn wood coat hooks.
How amazing is that!? (And thank you Mom for taking care of the kids! xo)
My handmade/homegrown offerings~ two indigo rose tomatoes, three chile plants - ordono, bhut jolokia & thai, a jar of pickled beets, a serrano hot sauce, and four scrappy pot holders.
To be sure, the weekend also included its share of cramps, scraped knees, sleepless nights, tantrums, and even a garden snail situation. Thankfully, though, the kick-ass parts were more memorable than the ass-kicking ones, and for that -as always- I'm grateful.