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Kitchen Garden

Rainy Spring Dream

Harvesting Spinach – 2013

The forecast was 100 percent chance of rain so I worked on the garden in the garage. I re-seeded dill and cilantro that didn’t germinate. I gave up on the shallots and onions which did not grow the way they should inside our home.

I planted new trays made from small shipping boxes lined with aluminum foil. The box of foil was printed with the date 1972. The improvised flats will serve. I planted:

Cucumbers

Marketmore 76, Ferry-Morse, 68 days.
Tendergreen (a.k.a. burpless), Ferry-Morse, 55 days.
Lemon, Ferry-Morse, 65 days.
Little Leaf Pickling, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, 57 days.
Tasty Jade, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, 54 days.

Lettuce

Buttercrunch, Ferry Morse, 65-70 days

Spinach

Matador, Ferry-Morse, 45 days.

There is a to-do list once the rain finishes and the ground dries out enough to till.

I text messaged the farm about Sunday’s seeding session and we called it off. The greenhouse is full. It’s too cold to put seedlings outside on wagons to harden. We texted back and forth for a while.

Text messages and phone calls are a part of farming that goes on regardless of the crop, almost every day. We stay semi-synchronized, although with a garden I’m very flexible.

My multi-colored Swiss chard didn’t germinate at all. The Fordhook chard didn’t germinate very well. If the seedlings that germinated survive transplant there will be enough chard from the garden for the kitchen. Celery takes the longest time to germinate and the report was it did. Things are looking good. There will plenty of green vegetables to transplant.

Yesterday they tilled and seeded carrots, peas, beets and spinach in the ground. I start my spinach and some beets in trays, but need to plant in the ground as soon as I can get in. Maybe over the next few days. After that, the next step is potatoes, then onions after the ground dries.

While working in the garage I began to dream.

I went on a reconnaissance mission to one of the training areas we used in Germany. I don’t recall where but I got to know Hohenfels, Baumholder, Fulda, Hofbieber, Dipperz and villages at the eastern entry point to the Fulda Gap.

My driver was Cheyenne and had just returned from leave where he attended a Sundance in Montana. I asked him if he ate peyote. He said he had. The driver was an E-1, the lowest enlisted rank. We had busted for getting into a fight and demoted him. He’d been our driver for almost a year. He was the best and the best we had. The peyote buttons remained between him and me. Our battalion commander didn’t want officers driving themselves, so he drove the M-151 quarter ton jeep.

Soon after I arrived in garrison the company motor pool sergeant who gave me a license to operate any piece of equipment in our unit. I’d had familiarization training at Fort Benning and qualified as a jeep driver at Fort Jackson, but the battalion commander was right, I didn’t know jack about fixing the jeep should it break down.

We drove up a ridge high above a valley whose name I can’t recall. It was a beautiful and calm place for reflection. I took notes and viewed the terrain through a pair of binoculars. We watched the clouds blow east up the ascent and over the ridge mid morning. As the valley cleared I finished the work we had come for and then drove back into a village to find lunch.

I don’t know why that experience came to me while planting cucumbers and lettuce. I’m thankful to have had it. It was a fitting dream while doing what I could to advance the garden.

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