Kitchen Garden

Mud-suctioning the Garden

First Pick of Kale, May 20, 2019

Spring rain continues and I must decide whether to put seedlings outside while I’m at the farm this morning.

The first wave is in the ground, but the second is delayed so long I worry about them getting root bound. I discussed this with a farmer friend and she said not to worry. I don’t know. The basil is looking dire.

Greenhouse seedlings are coming in faster than I can get them in the ground. Yesterday I processed two trays of tomatoes, moving soil blocks to larger containers while I wait for the ground to dry. I expect they will develop more root structure before I get them in.

There are so many seedlings I grabbed another pallet from the garden to hold them all outside the garage. Moving them back and forth is getting to be a production.

I finished turning over the plot for the second wave. I broke a sweat, the work felt good. The process should be called “mud-suctioning” because with every spade of dirt the sound of suction-release was evident. Water stood in the bottom of the divots dug previously. Rain had beaten down the divots dug last week, making breaking them into soil suitable for planting easier. That is, if the ground ever dries.

May has been a month of tension for this gardener, made worse by climate change. Wet springs combined with not enough time to garden has delayed planting and weeding. Even with May troubles we manage to harvest something.

The first wave of plantings is beginning to produce. We had kale and radishes, and harvested from the long-standing, ever-producing plot of garlic planted years ago. There is plenty for our kitchen.

Fresh kale, radishes and spring garlic in our salad of local farm-grown lettuce was welcome for dinner last night. Our spring share included lemon balm, of which I made tea to reduce anxiety and restlessness. I think it’s working. There is some left in the ice box if it isn’t.

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