The last of the seeds for the garden came yesterday. Cylindra beets, slo-bolt cilantro, dill, and florence fennel (it grows like dill but tastes like fennel). Fennel bulbs take at least a year to reach maturity. I’m a real American and want instant gratification, so opted for a quick growing herb with the same flavour. Every time I order from Baker Creek they send a free packet of seeds along. This time it was Parisienne Carrots. Little round carrots. I love carrots and dont eat enough of them.
I’m starting to wonder if I took on more than I can handle. I’m going to be a very busy girl this summer. There are going to be beans, cucumber, 3 kinds of tomatoes, 2 kinds of peppers (couldnt get the cherry bomb peppers to sprout), spinach, beets, carrots, broccoli, herbs (parsley, cilantro, dill, fennel, basil, tarragon, oregano), and flowers (marigolds, morning glories, 2 kinds of sunflowers, poppies).
Before your eyes but out of your head, let me say that not everything will come in all at once. The broccoli, spinach and some of the herbs will be done before mid-summer. Once it gets too hot they will only bolt, going straight to seed. By the time mid-summer rolls around (in Oregon, that means the end of July/mid-August) there should only be tomatoes, peppers, sunflowers, morning glories, marigolds, beans, some herbs, and cucumbers to manage. Evenings after work will be busy with watering, pinching, picking, and training. There are worse things in life.
I’m hoping I’ll get a chance to do some pickling. Pickled beets, green beans, and lemon cukes. Did you know you can make pickles in the freezer? If I get enough tomatoes (unlike last year) it’d be nice can some chutney and spaghetti sauce. That’s a long time away though and a lot can happen between now and then.
There things other than the hope of learning pickling to look forward to: Salsa with home grown tomatoes, peppers and cilantro, nights when it’s too hot to cook anything mean gaspacho nearly straight from the garden, weekend mornings with coffee and the plants, the wonderful smell of tomato plants, water with slices of cucumber, watching the plants change every day, participating in something people have been doing for several thousand years and finding joy in it, happy sunflower faces outside and fresh cut for the kitchen, the hope that these things that now seem so fragile make it through the spring and summer, all the colour these plants will bring to the courtyard, fridge, table, and apartment, the knowledge that yes, I can do this, I can be a little more independent, the satisfaction of success balanced with the knowledge that not everything may turn out, and the knowledge that my livelihood does not depend on whether or not these plants make it does take off a lot of pressure and makes the task much more enjoyable.
Um . . . That’s probably enough rambling for today.