26 February Weekly Update

It’s hard to believe that February is almost over.

The peas we planted are germinating and leaping up.  This week we’ve had 77 degree weather, 25 degree weather, rain, sun, and high winds (gusts up to 70 mph). So to start with you can reread last week’s update for a summary of what we did this week as well. It snowed last Sunday night, the first (and only and minor) snow of the winter here. Go figure.

Flowers In February

And in the middle of all that, we have flowers:  see the blue crocus, the daffodils, and the tulips (we bought the tulips and are gonna plant them).

Tulips in front of burlap covered porch boxes

More of the Flowers

We harvested cilantro (for cooking), and carrots!  Also lettuce thinnings, and broccoli (enough for a meal). So far the flowers on the broccoli don’t impact the flavor, so we’re just eating them.

Carrots, broccoli shoots

Lettuces

A word about the carrots.  When I was an infant we moved to Fuquay Springs (now Fuquay-Varina). By the age of 2, I remember “helping” my father in the strawberry patch behind our house. By the age of 5 I was helping plant, weed, water, and harvest carrots in the little garden across the street. In those days, a carrot was one of the best things I knew to eat – it was sweet and carroty and crunchy but not too hard, tender and juicy. It smelled safe, like the soil. By the way, a recent study indicates that smelling healthy soil makes you feel better. As I got older carrots stopped being quite so good. Like a number of other foods that I have “rediscovered”, it is clear to me now that the reason they weren’t so good was that they weren’t.  They were industrial agriculture carrots, and like chickens and tomatoes and celery it lost something in the change in economy of scale.

Today I bit into one of our carrots and immediately experienced a visceral memory of being 2 years old, and 4 years old, and 5 years old; as clear as if I was looking out the window. I could smell the ground on Aiken Parkway and Woodrow Street and Angier Road. I re-experienced how I felt as a person then, what the world looked like to me, and it was wonderful.  In those days a 6-year old was trusted to wander halfway across town to the swimming pool in the summer time – the major danger was crossing the street. Most of the people who lived around us (and us) all had small gardens in their yards. There were fewer people, and less traffic, and those things have an effect on our quality of life and on the pace of our lives, then and now.  Carrots are amazing.

We started seeds this week:  132, just shy of two trays worth. We started 2 types of eggplant, tomatillos, 4 types of tomatoes (slicing and paste), and 15 types of peppers (6 sweet and 9 hot). Of the 15 varieties planted, about half the seeds are sweet, and half are hot.

Yesterday we prepped beds for seeding and putting out seedlings this week. We prepped 2 more beds for carrots (yes, more carrots) and radishes.  We also prepped 1 long bed and 1 square bed for the onion transplants, as well as 1 small square bed for beets. We did some general clean-up in the overwintered beds and took the covers off for a whole 6 hours before we were forced to put them back on in anticipation of last night’s 25 degree temperatures.

We’ll also be seeding head lettuces in the lettuce box, and we’ll be planting more cilantro in our porch boxes.

Some of the tomato seeds we started were already coming up on Friday. We moved that tray to one with heat mats *and* lights, and took the cover off.

We NEED to get the onions transplanted. We’ve been hardening them off already, and their rate of growth so far has been remarkable. With our current time commitments we can’t wait until the ideal day in the middle of the week to do it, so we’re hoping to do it today. On that subject, one of us has a new job (yay) with an hour (each way) commute. So today we are cooking a whole duck, a large macaroni and cheese casserole, and soup; this will allow us a bit more time and flexibility this week.

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4 Responses to “26 February Weekly Update”

  1. Norma Chang Says:

    Nice harvest.
    You sure have been busy. Will be a while before I can or should direct sow anything or do any transplanting. Got a few seedlings going but must wait before starting others.
    Know what you mean by how the taste of food changed in economy of scale. That’s why I garden.

  2. maryhysong Says:

    yes industrial food tastes just that. home grown is a completely different thing. I just got back from a short trip where I had to eat restaurant food. I now understand why people drowned their salad in dressing. They were all tasteless. ;-(

  3. kitsapFG Says:

    Thank you for sharing the memories invoked by the real taste of carrots grown in well cared for soil and harvested just prior to eating – I think most of us very much relate to that but may not be quite so well able to say it in written words as you did.

    Good harvest this week. The flowers are very cheery. Congratulations on the new job! Sorry the commute will give so much windshield time but sometimes that is what you must do.

  4. Robin Says:

    What a great memory! It is so true what industrial food tastes like. We very seldom eat out and really only enjoy one restaurant any more. This restaurant only uses local in season organic food. Boy, what a difference!

    It sounds like you are very busy!

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