The rains have stopped, and approximately ten days early, Spring is Here. Today dawned sunny and warm, so warm that we even opted for shorts for our morning workout. Tomorrow we plan to spend some time in the garden. We’ll prepare and plant a pea patch, and plant some runner beans and sunflowers.
The pea patch is going to occupy one entire bed of our garden practically monocropping for crazed polyculturists like us. The plan is to grow enough peas so that we can freeze some for the summer, and thus avoid buying the frozen green peas from the store, which, though organic, are more often than not imported from New Zealand, for some reason. After we harvest the peas in early or mid-summer, we will plant lettuces and cooking greens in the bed, giving them a good start so they can feed us through the winter. I think we may use some edges of the bed to hold some peppers and basil as well these heavy-feeding plants will be distributed around the garden wherever there is a well-legumed spot.
I think our timing is right this year for the March heat wave. Last year, we planted a few beds of greens and lettuce in January, and the germination was sparse. When March came along, with its 90?Ç¬?F temperatures, the greens mostly went to seed. This year, we waited until late February to plant, so the seedlings are just poking up from the ground, and the heat and sunny weather will help them on their way. Then, if it goes like last year, April will be nice and cool, and allow the greens to get well established. Come summer, we should have some sunflowers, pole beans, and such growing tall and providing shade for the delicate greens.
This week we also signed up for a produce delivery from a regional CSA, Farm Fresh to You, operated by Capay Organics, a 240-acre farm in the Coastal Range 50 miles west of Sacramento. We got our first delivery yesterday carrots, salad mix, artichokes, onions, leeks, and some apples, oranges, and mandarins. I put together a quick and delicious salad for my lunch. I have heard many good things about this CSA. The one caveat was that sometimes the salad greens are wilted by the time they arrive. I assumed that “salad greens” meant a head of lettuce, so I had a hard time understanding the early wilt, until I saw our box. The salad greens consist of a mix of young lettuces, trimmed and washed, in an aerated plastic bag. So they’re quicker to wilt, but wow, are they good: a tangy, delicate blend. I think I even saw some speckled trout’s back lettuce in the mix. We’re excited to see what we will make of all this wonderful produce.
And, last night we visited our friends Novella and Bill, fellow Oakland urban homesteaders, who treated us to a fantastic cheese tasting from some beautiful cheeses they brought back from France.
The sun, the vegetables, the cheese, the warm pungent earth. It’s a sense of bounty all round, and we are grateful for our part in it.