Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Garden Check In, Farmer's Market Haul, and No Meal (sorry!)

Greetings my lovelies!

I don't know about you, but I am never sure if my perceptions of weather trends are accurate. I grew up in this area, and am constantly asked to share my state with my students who come from around the world. While I have always pointed to fall as my favorite season, perhaps because it coincides with my birthday, I must say, spring is beginning to edge into that front position if this year has been any indication.

We normally think of spring and fall as barely-there seasons, ephemeral transitions wedged between miserably cold and unbearably hot. But for some reason, this spring has been slow, and glorious. Still the mornings and evenings are cool, and the warm sun in between is welcomed by bare shoulders and legs that are still a little shy emerging from months of coverage. I'm not sure if I have always been unfounded in my understanding of spring as so short, but I'm ready to embrace the realization regardless.

(You know, I did grow up in the City of Five Seasons, the fifth being the season to enjoy the four :P)

Perhaps my recent affection for spring comes from the joy of my first real garden in my first real house, or my expanding sun-dress collection. Either way, I'm energized by the weather and thankful to live in a place where beautiful things grow naturally.

Oh, and blue skies-

Speaking of growing things! The garden is so amazingly crazily interesting and exciting.

I took these photos a week ago and things looks so much bigger now.

This being my first time starting seeds and planting them in my yard, I have learned many lessons about the exponential nature of growing food. This has resulted in two somewhat hilarious situations at the homestead.

The first of these culminated on our second wedding anniversary. The other persists, and I'll explain it shortly.

Being that it was our second big anniversary, (and it rained again) we were in a celebratory mood last week, and decided that it was finally time to harvest The Radish.

See, I started my radish seeds along with my tomato seeds (face palm), not connecting the idea that radishes come up very quickly and tomatoes take significantly longer. Thus, only ONE radish seedling made its way into the bed we tilled in the back yard. (I'll get to the tomatoes in a minute.)

This one radish THRIVED. It was a French Breakfast radish, so it was meant to be long and thin. We let this guy go until I could get a good photo and say goodbye to the little guy I'd looked at for so many days in a row, all the way from the basement.

Being married for two years seemed about right. Here he was-

All cleaned up. He was very crunchy but mild, and will certainly be planting them again (better) next spring.

He was eaten on a baguette with fleur de sel, and this local butter-

We can't live without this Amish-run store. They carry a diversity of products at a very cheap price. This is where I get all of my dried beans, pasta, and fruit, tons of spices, and usually where we get our grass-fed beef from local farmers. Look for a bulk foods store in your area, or look for buying clubs in your area .(here's an example) Having a well stocked pantry really makes cooking easier, faster, and better. (Seriously. Fish sauce has changed my life.)

So the radish illustrated one failure in my long journey of seed-starting, and another is still glaring at me from the front and side of my home. Tomato seedlings, about 60 of them.

The hubs and I dug (BY HAND) room for about 9 of them, giving them 2 ft between each other in rows 1 ft. apart, but haven't so much found room for the rest of these guys. They will likely end up in 5 gallon buckets. (If you have any buckets please give them to me now. I'll give you tomatoes in a little while, I swear.)

They are all doing very well, and I can't bear to part with too many of them. That said, I've been trying to pawn them off, largely unsuccessfully, on my family, friends, and coworkers.

The plot is looking great. The kale is strong, and the lettuce and beans are growing very very quickly.

Last week-

Tonight (camera balanced on a railroad tie)

Now that you've seen my humble first attempt, I'll regale you with my purchases from the pros.

Some beautiful local bacon (SORRY it's blurry, but the marbling is fantastic. This plus the Stringtown beef and butter made our anniversary bolognese, which I did not photograph. mmmm.)

I did manage to take a photo of the carrots I chopped up for this. Not to toot my own horn, but I have certainly improved at cutting things since I first started this blog. (ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO!)

The rest of the haul:

Hey, look what my hubby made all by himself!!

And look how cute my dog is!

Hey, remember the flood? Yeah that sucked. But a bunch of the food on that post is great! :D

Here's hoping that the small amount of water my basement has received this spring will the the closest we come to that again.

I admonish you, dear readers, get your butts outside, in spite of the gray skies and occasional downpour, and soak up the last of the season of new beginnings!


Linda said...

First off, happy 2nd year anniversary and I'm so happy to see you blogging again. Know that you're entertaining and witty posts have been missed!

May I ask how many radish seeds were planted. I was surprised to see only one grew, although it looked absolutely perfect, and from the sounds of it, it tasted good too.

I grew up in a city in northern Indiana which is in very close proximity to Amish country. Oh, how I miss their homemade cheeses and butter as well. Your town seems just as lovely.

Anonymous said...

IIIII would love to be bribed with all thing veggie. Get a car (duh) and come to CR. Busy bees we are and I haven't been able to make the journey your way. OOT again this weekend - bye. Big sis harasssssing you again...

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