Kitchen Garden Writing

On a Warm Spring Day

Spring on Lake Macbride

Saturday was the first spring day with temperatures in the low 70s.

I spent a few hours raking and using the chainsaw, beginning yard clean up. More clean up remains but I’ve learned to take it easy until returning to better physical shape through the work.

I relished being outside at work so much. Excited to deploy the chainsaw, I forgot hearing protection until I was almost finished.

Neighbors hailed me from their yards and in passing by. The whole neighborhood seemed outside and alive. There was ice below matted leaves yet everything else indicated spring had definitely arrived.

Saturday had begun Friday by covering mixed beans with tap water to soak overnight.

Before sunrise I cooked the beans in homemade vegetable broth, then added carrots, celery, onion and bay leaves. The broth reduced so I added more — four quarts in all. It simmered all day yielding a deep brown color by supper time. A cup of soup with toasted bread, a small plate of cheese and pickles, and a glass of milk made the meal.

A week into April and nothing is planted in the ground. I surveyed the garden plots for a spot to plant peas and carrots and have ideas but no plan. I’m getting better with garden layout each year because of a shift from whimsically filling space to consideration of which plants go where and why. After yesterday there’s a lot of wood to cut for a burn pile, such cutting making space to think about sunlight, shade, soil health, animal traffic and mulch.

Such is the world of a gardener.

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