Kitchen Garden


Water bath canning.

The first batch of vegetable broth is canned and stored. I am well on the way to meeting a 24 quart budget.

Two different batches went into this water bath canning session. The colors were different because of different greens used. I thought of marking them in vintages as is done with wine, yet that may be a step too far. It’s only broth.

My garden is producing enough leafy green vegetables that the challenge will be using them up. I’m ready to go on my own after the last farm share on Monday. I appreciate the spring CSA share as a bridge between winter and my garden becoming established. Their high tunnels make it possible. I could likely do without it but that would mean changing behavior of nine years — it would be too much coming out of the pandemic.

I strained my shoulder and was waylaid for a couple of days. Luckily it rained so I didn’t feel I was losing garden productivity. I treated with rest and Ibuprofen and the injury does not seem permanent. Can’t say it’s as good as new, because at age 69, who would believe it?

Since the World Health Organization declared the global pandemic on March 11 last year I gained three pounds. I feel healthier than I have in years, although am cognizant of age’s fragility which produces strains and minor aches and pains. I’m doing okay and hesitate to add the dreaded phrase, “for my age.”

Friday afternoon I made black tea with lemon balm. It was surprisingly refreshing. I buy the cheapest bagged tea leaves at the grocer and they make the best iced tea. I use the ones without strings. The lemon balm came with the farm share and I added it to three tea bags in our Brown Betty before pouring the water. It made a scant two quarts.

With nine days left until Memorial Day, finishing initial garden planting is within reach. I started some winter squash in trays yesterday and the rest of what I start indoors from seed will be for succession planting. I’m already on the third round of lettuce and spinach, second of broccoli and cauliflower. With the isolation created by the coronavirus pandemic, it is expected to be a great gardening year.