Sunday, April 18, 2010

Week 1 Progress Report

I went out to shoo a squirrel off the beds Wednesday morning, and the radishes had already sprouted! Less than 72 hours after planting, which is the fastest I've ever seen anything sprout!

When I checked today, the lettuces are up, both types of radishes are coming along nicely, and the arugulas are peeking out of the soil under the hay. No carrots yet, and my chives aren't looking too hot. One of those jerk squirrels dug up the middle of my melon mound sometime since Thursday morning. Thankfully, it has been raining so the roots didn't dry out before I found the damage and covered everything back up.

Week 1 - Radishes are here!

What a difference a week makes! Not only have the radishes sprouted like mad, but all the little transplants (beets, chard, lettuces) have straightened up and started to establish themselves. Last week, even the light mulching of hay was bending the transplant leaves over the side. I honestly wasn't sure if they were going to make it, but this week they are looking great! I'm still a little worried about the Lacinato kale that I planted, it's looking a bit leggy and hasn't started to fill out at all yet. I know I'm pretty late getting a cold-loving crop like kale started so late in the year, but we have a neverending need for greens due to our pet bunnies. So even if it doesn't produce too well, we can chop it down and feed it to them when it gets hotter.

Last year, we subscribed to a CSA, and the lady that runs it is at the Cowtown Farmer's Market every week with flowers and plants. This week, she had A TON of heirloom tomato, pepper, cucumber, and squash plants, in addition to her usual variety of herbs and flowers. She had a couple of buckets of ranunculus (which are my #1 favorite flower), but I managed to resist them and got a couple of tomato plants instead. I had been wanting a drying tomato and a black tomato, and luckily, she had both! I got a Principe Borghese (for drying) and a Black Sea Man. I was also going to get a cucumber plant, but since some cucumbers can hybridize with melons and make weird fruits, I figured I'd do some research on what kind of cucumber won't screw up my Charentais melons. I'm so looking forward to those!

It's still rainy today, and there isn't too much to do in the garden. I got my poor leftover sweet pepper planted this week, and my dahlias. I will have to go buy some containers for my new tomato prizes, but the plants are quite small, so I have some time.

Today, I'm going to:
- make our yogurt for this week (1 quart, whole milk, Liberte plain yogurt for the starter)
- make strawberry freezer jam and apricot compote
- roast some cherry tomatoes that are a bit past salad-quality and tuck them away in the fridge for tossing with a pasta later this week
- bake a loaf of bread
- and put together a spring celebration dinner

At the market yesterday, I picked up a big bunch of radishes, a bunch of jumbo asparagus, a tub of fresh goat cheese, and a block of goat's milk butter. I think tonight's dinner will be radish greens soup, roasted asparagus, home-baked wheat baguette with butter and cheese, and yogurt for dessert with apricot compote or strawberry jam.

We already had eggs for breakfast, poached and served over creamed Ruby chard. Otherwise, we would have this very nice looking open-faced sandwich for supper. Maybe we can eat eggs twice in one day...

Yard eggs

Or maybe I'll save the asparagus for tomorrow's supper and stretch out the spring a little bit longer.

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