The Milkweed Diaries

Friday, April 16, 2010

Deep In the Thick of It

The season of spring busyness continues!

After a week of cramming in farm and garden work in between taxes, grant reports, and meetings, the next three days are all about the garden.

Genovese Basil seedlngs perched above French heirloom lettuces

Arugula and Mizuna

Today I'll be trellising heirloom blue-podded shell peas (Blauwschokkers, to be exact), planting Red of Tropea onion seedlings (beautiful Italian heirloom red bottle onions that we started from seed back in February), building a bed for brassicas and shallots, pinching flowers off of all of the winter greens that are trying to bolt, cutting potatoes into chunks for planting tomorrow, potting up sorrel plants and Canturbury Bells for the herb show, and watering everything. The watering of everything takes about an hour a day at this point, which is entirely inconvenient but essential.


There are thousands of baby plants growing in the hoophouse, on our porches, on our kitchen counters, tucked into every available cranny. Winter-planted lettuce is growing to gargantuan proportions in the unheated hoophouse, spinach and beets are doing their slow and steady thing, chard and collards are kicking out the jams. In other words: it's Spring! Plants are doing what they do best in Springtime: putting on some serious growth.

Italienischer lettuce

This goes for all plants, including the plethora of weeds and wild plants that are sprouting up everywhere I look. Some of these wildsters I'm happy to see: beautiful medicinal agrimony, nourishing dandelion, prolific creasy greens, medicinal nettles. Others I have a love-hate relationship with -- blackberries, lambsquarters, wild onions. I'm grateful for their gifts of food and medicine but I'm tired of pulling them out of my lettuce beds. So I pull some and leave some and turn loose of the ridiculous notion that I can control the force of nature that is plant life.

It's a good metaphor for life in general for me these days - I'm deep in the weeds, best to just take a bite here and there and relish the chaos!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Everything is so beautiful! We let some lamb's quarters go to seed in the garden last year, and before we pulled most of the seedlings Brendan grazed them like a sheep. I love springtime!