WANING DAYS OF SPRING

beans1There’s something powerful in eating locally grown vegetables, either from our own garden or the farmer’s market. It makes me want to eat much healthier in all ways when the main pieces of a meal showcase homegrown bounty.

Something about the mountain air and my husband’s green thumb has bombarded our garden beds this spring, and now that his hard work is done, he spends his mornings and early evenings picking his ‘fruits.’ He likes to pick vegetables when the sun is not beating down upon them. He says the cooler times of the day are better because all the ‘energy’ of the plant are in the fruit. When the sun is out that energy is transferred to the roots. Using his philosophy, the root crops are best picked during peak sun times. Others say the morning while still fresh with dew is the best for capturing the most moisture.

All I do is say “Grilling salmon tonight. Make sure we have some green to go with it.” And right now magically when I go to cook dinner, the crisper is filled with rich goodness.

Right now, at the end of May, we are eating the last of the lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, and radishes. But the broccoli, beans, and peas are coming on strong.

What are you enjoying in your area?

THE FIRST SALAD OF THE SEASON – #GARDENLOVE

IMG_0648We rolling in lettuce right now. Radishes are beautiful and tasty, too. My husband planted a variety of radishes, and the taste differences are subtle, but none of them are bitter as sometimes happens with older radishes.

I’m amazed at how fast the garden is growing. I’ll soon be pulling down the canning equipment from the attic and buying new jars to put up sauces, pickles, and relishes. I didn’t pack our canning jars from Pittsburgh — too much to move as it was. Time to stock up on freezer bags, too, for peas and beans that will surely come on quickly and soon.

The photo on the left was taken March 20, and the one of the right I took this morning, May 5. It’s a lovely, yet shocking, surprise. I guess my northern gardener adapted to gardening in the mountains with ease.

The bed with straw on top in the photo on the right is planted with approximately twenty-eight asparagus plants that arrived via mail the other day. We have to wait two years to enjoy their bounty.

Today, he’s building the last of the beds, and I’ve asked him to hold off on planting anything there. Fat chance. He has winter squash in pots ready for the ground. At least, I won’t have to deal with preserving those because they should store all winter long once harvested.

We went to the local farmer’s market on Saturday to see what others were offering in local food. They had about the same things we did. I should look into getting my own table at the market for later this spring.

How’s your gardening growing?

 

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From Seed to Table is FREE on Kindle through May 7, 2016. Grab your copy by clicking on photo or if you’d prefer the paperback, click here.

 

 

 

Spring(?) Garden Update

lettuce and tomatoes - March 7, 2013

lettuce and tomatoes – March 7, 2013

By Patricia Zick @PCZick

Spring sprung more than ten days ago, yet we’re stymied by cold temperatures. Seeds sprouted a month ago are now seedlings growing under lights in our family room. But I can tell they are yearning, as we are, for the warmer days and nights of spring, for the sunshine to heat the earth, and for soil large enough to spread their roots.

onions - March 30, 2013

onions – March 30, 2013

Tomato seedlings - March 30, 2013

Tomato seedlings – March 30, 2013

The onions should be in the ground by now or at the very least, they should be outside getting sunlight for a portion of the day. My husband has been putting them out for brief periods but the temperatures are still too cold for any type of sustained sun bathing.

The soil for spinach needs preparation. They’ll be ready to go into the ground as soon as the weather cooperates.

But it is the peas that has my husband most churned up right now. He sprouts seeds on an old cookie sheet and covers them with several layers of damp paper towel. He has one try all ready to plant, which he intended to do this past weekend. Then we heard the weather report for the first week of April: nighttime temperatures hitting 25 degrees. He said he’d put them in the ground even with predictions of 30 degrees, but 25 is too low. He sprouted another set this past week because he’s fairly certain the ones already sprouted won’t last until he can put them in the ground. He put the tray in the basement, hoping to slow down the process.

peas ready to plant on March 30, 2013

peas ready to plant on March 30, 2013

We’re learning to be flexible with the unpredictable weather patterns of recent years. It’s not always easy, especially when we’re as eager for the warmer temperatures as the plants stretching for light right before our eyes.

garlic is the only thing growing in the garden so far this spring

garlic is the only thing growing in the garden so far this spring

How’s the weather in your part of the world? And how’s your garden growing?