Meditation on the Garden
by Jesse Loren
I feel better, faster, stronger, leaner, and keener. It might be the supplements, or the fact that school’s out. It might be that I am eating totally fresh salads! They are so zesty, made from mounds of arugula, that I feel fortified.
After chopping the arugula, I cut purple lettuce, green lettuce and some fancy swirly colored lettuce, then wash it, spin it, cut it, add currants, almonds, cut-up oranges, purple onions, and I just can’t get enough. You should try it!
The best thing about planting salad is planting MORE salad! I made a big dense row with seeds, let the drip system do the work, hoed the weeds down, and, viola! Salad. Salad. Salad. When the plants look spent I just pull them up and toss them to the chickens. My yard is a win-win situation!
I still have anise, which I do not know what to do with. I tried sautéing it with olive oil. Nope.
I still have leeks and onions, eggplants, green tomatoes, oddly formed cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, and a clustershuck of potatoes I accidentally planted everywhere.
Be careful with potatoes, they are like Tribbles on the old StarTrek. They multiply.
Here’s what not to do. Don’t plant potatoes then abandon your garden to study Shakespeare for a summer at the GLOBE Theater. Or just don’t plant potatoes and leave them willy nilly in the ground. Why? Because they will bless you with a plant for every tiny potato you forgot to pick. Fingerling potatoes will start to sprout in your dreams and pretty soon the little fingers will become hands! Your garden will become a classroom that you will have to call on! Actually, the last part is just a dream I had.
In reality, I have about twenty Russian fingerlings in places I didn’t know I had. They are everywhere. Everywhere, green plants, thriving and who knows if or when the potatoes will ripen underground.
Soon there will be potatoes and rosemary, potatoes and leeks, potatoes in olive oil, roasted potatoes with other garden vegetables.
I have volunteer sunflowers too. I don’t know what kinds yet, but they are coming up where I forgot about them last year. Did I mention green beans? Today I am going to eat them! I tasted them yesterday and they were so perfect I planted another row.
My surprise kamikaze planting of the year is Zephyr squash. I put a seed or two next to the compost pile and two plants are proudly coming right along. I can hardly wait. It’s going to be a good squash and potato year. I am prime for my salad years. I just hope that all this growing leads to some garden boxes in my front yard.
Oooo I hope, I hope, I hope! WHERE ARE THE GARDEN BOX FAERIES!