Friday, October 28, 2011

Garden Gratitude – 2011

I am not a very good gardener but am getting better. Last fall I realized, following another growing season of minimal results, that standing in front of lackluster plants shaking my head in puzzlement was not enough – that I had to do hard physical work continuously, and quit griping.
While this year’s harvest was not what anyone else around here would term abundant, it sure was better for me: The additional compost, weeding, mulching and watering (even when the well went dry and I had to lug buckets from the neighbors’ pond) paid off in a modest but continual yield for my fresh produce needs and earthly delights.
I especially want to give a call out to the TOMATOES who gave me daily joy – the small blasts of flavor from the cherries, straight off the scented vines, in the warm mornings, and the earthy aromas of tomatoes in sauce and bright salads in the kitchen; the incredible luxury of having all the SNOW PEAS I could consume daily for over a month; the repeated astonishment of being able to harvest TOMATILLOS in my own backyard for sauces. (Beets and potatoes, let’s try again next spring. And this fall I got the garlic planted in October!)
Most of all -- thanks go to the Plantsman Nursery in Lansing for getting me started in earliest April, when the local outdoors was still a mud-bath, with a container of small lettuce and kale plants. I harvested the lettuces within a couple of weeks – what a confidence-booster and SO GOOD; I also planted another kale type and collard green seedlings, from Earlybird Farms just south of Ithaca. The result - ALL SUMMER long I had PLENTIFUL, incredibly flavorful greens for every type of dish – sautéed, boiled, cut up and added to other dishes. When cut, these plants regrew. OMG.
The photos show a midsummer yield and assorted greens bed; the final lingering cherry and plum tomatoes in September, and the goodbye-til-spring harvest of assorted greens – harvested on October 26. Oh yeah!


oliverio said...

pssshhhhaw it may not be bountiful for Ithacans but I am jealllous of your greens.

Hilary Lambert said...

Heh. Judy Pierpont has offered me Russian Red Kale from her vast garden - mmmm!!!! I barely knew kale existed four years ago, and collard greens were strictly in old blues songs!