Radishes, spring garlic and turnip greens were ready for harvest.
It was the beginning of a day of gardening and cooking as good as takes place anywhere in the world.
The combination of today’s harvest, previous pickings in the ice box and bits and pieces made for a day close to the soil and replete with tasty and nutritious food.
It’s what gardeners live for.
I started a pot of turnip stock made of carrot, onion, celery, bay leaves, chervil and a large bunch of freshly picked and cleaned turnip greens. After bringing it to a boil, I turned down the heat and simmered it for most of the day. It made about a gallon.
After working in the yard and garden all day I came inside, strained the stock and used two cups to make rice for a casserole. I pulled the last bottle of Pinot Noir from the cooler, poured a glass and sipped while cooking our meal.
The casserole included three eggs from a friend’s farm, sauteed onion and spring garlic, along with wilted greens from the farm. I added a quarter cup dried parsley to the ingredients in a large stainless steel bowl, mixed and turned it into a buttered baking dish. I topped the casserole with Parmesan cheese and baked for 30-35 minutes. Once the casserole was in the oven I made small salads with lettuce from the ice box. There was part of a cucumber, carrot, radishes, Vidalia onion, and prepared kidney beans. Dressing was commercial, organic balsamic from the ice box.
To live life one must either cook or quit. As hard as Saturday’s work was, I’m not ready to quit.
The priority among the endless yard and garden tasks is getting the rest of spring planting finished.
I fenced the sprouted green beans, planted basil, and deconstructed last year’s kale patch for this year’s tomatoes. I left the row of peas.
I measured the plot. If the tomato seedlings are 36 inches apart, there is room for 20 without digging up the peas. The ground was full of earthworms when I spaded it.
Needing mulch for the tomatoes, I mowed with the grass catcher. The second cut was less than the first. I piled them where the bell pepper plants will go. When the sun comes up today I’ll finish preparing the soil.
The day was full of work. I caught a tomato cage in the mower and took a half hour to jack the front end up and remove it from around the blade. There was trimming, raking and watering. Temperatures were close to 80 degrees, but it didn’t seem hot.
After dinner it didn’t take long to fold laundry and fall asleep with the feeling it was a day well spent.