Kitchen Garden

On the Road and In the Garden

Lettuce Transplanted
Lettuce Transplanted

LAKE MACBRIDE— Swiss chard, collard greens and kale have sprouted in the seed trays as the garden fills up with my plantings, and weeds. Spring has everything growing. After pulling weeds for a couple of hours, all we will need is mild temperatures, some rain, and then more weeding.

It is uncertain the transplanted lettuce seedlings will survive. After 24 hours in the ground some look a bit wilted. Will see how watering and the night air does them. The backup plan is to use the other half of the tray for replacements if needed.

The broadcast lettuce and arugula did very well, and will soon be ready for harvest. Broadcast seems the way to go for kitchen garden lettuce. A few snips and there would be salad for two or four without worrying about nicely formed heads. The epiphany about lettuce growing was working at the CSA and planting individual lettuce seeds in soil blocks. It takes time, but the results can be worth it if transplanting can work here as it does for others. There is really no reason it can’t— it takes practice.

Deaton Grave Marker
Deaton Grave Marker

I attended a funeral today. Mass was held in the church where my parents were married and where I was baptized and received First Communion. Mass was held for my father there in 1969, although he was not Catholic. Today, someone shared a memory of Dad’s funeral from when she was singing in the eighth grade choir. It was a special moment, possible only in special places in our lives.

A generation is passing to the other side, and recently, there have been plenty of funerals to attend. Parents of my cohorts, especially the World War II generation, have been leaving us for a while— their numbers among the living are dwindling. Each event has been a reunion, and a moving forward. We miss them, but know there is new life to be lived.

I stopped at the cemetery where my father and many relatives are buried. Birds left their excrement all over Dad’s marker. After pulling dandelions from around it, I regretted leaving the grass clippers on the work bench.  Next trip over, I’ll bring clippers, a gallon of water and rags to tidy the grave— to feel like I contributed something. That memorial day is approaching escaped me and what the hell. The birds own the cemetery most of the time.

An accident on Interstate 80 had traffic backed up for miles, making the trip home tedious and desultory. As we crawled toward the scene of the accident, a wreck of a car was being winched onto a flatbed. There was a magnetic sign on the side that said “caution: student driver.” They use those signs for a reason.

By the time I returned to Big Grove, the idea of proof reading the newspaper was out. After watering the garden, I walked over to a neighbor with a gift box of seedlings for their garden. Her two little children were with her in the yard, learning about the world. Is it possible to see things a they do, at least for a while? Answering that question is the stuff of dreams.