Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St Pat's day

Wish I could say I had corned beef cooking in the oven right now. I know I must have the right cut of beef out there in the freezer somewhere. Problem is, I don't know what cut of beef that would be and so, we are just having some kind of beef we haven't tried yet. See the thing about butchering a cow and then having an entire cow in the freezer, if you are as ignorant about meat as I am you get a whole lot of things you have no idea what to do with because they never (seldom?) sell them in the store. Tonight we are having one such cut--top round something or other--which sounded like hamburger to me but is some kind of rectangle shaped piece of meat. We'll see. It looks okay waiting to go in the oven.

To go with it we are having baked yams (my favorite) and roasted collard greens with lime. That's pretty good for March--2/3rds of dinner will be homegrown.

This time of year is the hardest to be eating from the garden. I have LOTS of plant babies out there. They struggle valiantly against the elements to grow in the wind and the rain and the hail and sometimes even snow. Takes a lot of fortitude to be a spring plant, I think. I go out everyday to cheer them on and plant a little more, dig a little more and generally just get my hands dirty after a winter of no gardening. Feels good to have dirt roughened hands again. But the problem is there is precious little to eat out there. We have a titch of over-wintered lettuce left--maybe one salad's worth, and a few dinners of kale, collards and parsnips. And of course, the nettles and chives are coming up but that's about all.

I am missing cauliflower and brocolli and brussel sprouts. I have them growing but they are so small it is hard to imagine ever getting to eat them. Just like my plant babies have to imagine there there will someday be sunshine and warmth, spring gardening requires a lot of imagination on my part. I have to imagine my garden full and lush so I don't plant things too close together (like I did the swiss chard today). I have to imagine what is tall and what is short so I don't lose plants in the shade of other plants. It is so easy to throw things in willy-nilly (esp if you garden like I like to) and then be sad in a few months because all that beautiful kale you have growing is surrounded by a particularly vital squash plant that has encircled the kale like a fortress.

Hopefully, this year I will have a lot of what it takes to be a spring plant--imagination and fortitude and that will yield a particularly wonderful garden. All those plant babies make me happy. Let's just hope I make them happy too.

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