Kitchen Garden Day

d’Avignon Radishes

Plants and seeds are going into the ground — the main spring event in a kitchen garden.

Harvest is ramping up with d’Avignon radishes, spinach, cilantro and chives heading to the kitchen.

I planned cilantro for my gardener’s lunch, and the spinach has been cleaned — some frozen and some in a big, recycled plastic clam shell chilling in the ice box. Chives will be for dinner and the radishes for snacks and salads.

This is why we have a kitchen garden.

Yesterday I spent ten hours working in the garden. Big projects were making a space for zucchini and Marketmore cucumber seedlings, and mowing the lawn for the grass clipping mulch. I removed seedling rings from the kale, mulched garlic with a bale of wheat straw, and studied small sprouts to determine which were from planted seeds and which weeds. It’s not clear. Weeding and mulching are so commonplace it’s almost not worth recounting. It’s assumed.

Garlic Patch

Weather was perfect for being outdoors.

The harvest began before the garden is fully planted. Tomato and pepper seedlings mature in the greenhouse while celery plants are ready to go into the ground as soon as I can find time and a space. There are pickling cucumbers and green beans to go somewhere, winter squash to plant. The combination of planting, harvesting and cooking — kitchen gardening — will continue throughout the growing season.

I stopped around noon and made lunch — fresh cilantro tacos.

Fresh Cilantro Tacos

Using pantry ingredients — storage onions, garlic, recipe crumbles, salt and home blended seasonings — I made a filling. I cooked tortillas in a large frying pan, and finely cut cilantro stems and ribboned the leaves. I topped the filling with halved grape tomatoes from California and fresh cilantro, which made the dish.

I bartered for a spring share at the farm so there are bags of greens in the ice box. We had a tub of firm tofu, so I decided on stir fry for dinner. Making stir fry is a way to use up vegetables.

I started two cups of raw brown rice in a quart of home made vegetable broth. I fried the tofu in olive oil, cut in half-inch by one and a half inch square slabs, then set them aside.

Included in the stir fry were baby kale (stems and leaves), carrots, onion, celery, garlic, pine nuts, halved grape tomatoes, red cabbage, a teaspoon of lemon juice and salt. Once the vegetables were soft, I spooned the mixture over a bed of rice and topped with spring onions and chives. It made four servings.

I texted Carmen to get the work forecast at the farm on Sunday. A light load of seedling trays is planned. After farm work, it’s back to the kitchen garden.

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