The new season

A tray full of seeds in moist potting soil now sits under a bright light, on a heat mat. Like opening day in baseball, this is the official start of our gardening season. We were too late for artichokes (which should have been planted a month ago); while fresh picked artichokes are a treat, they take up a lot of space, and so this year we’ll try something else in their place. I had planned to give up on the gigantic kohlrabi, which also is a bed-hog, but Cherisse suggested just planting a couple. Last year one kohlrabi lasted for months. Cherisse would carve off a hunk to use in a stir-fry or soup, and then return the rest to the refrigerator. So three should easily see us into the next growing season.

I planted some of the smaller purple kohlrabi as well (these are eaten when they reach baseball size), and a new kind of red cabbage. We’re trying celeriac again, although many of them didn’t grow right last year (I think they were blocked by the giant kohlrabi plants). A few greens and some Swiss chard went in; both do well direct seeded but we wanted to get a head start. Fedco accidentally sent a packet of purple cherry tomatoes instead of the sweet basil I’d ordered. It was a variety unknown to me, and although I am buying my tomato plants, I thought I’d try a few.

Cherisse started to weed the asparagus beds. The other day she cleared the rhubarb. We’ll eagerly monitor the progress of these two earliest crops. Next weekend I will add nutrients to all the beds and, given the warm weather, may just try a few greens outside under a row cover.

The first growth is unquestionably a thrill, but it also means that outdoor chores will now become pressing…and the indoor projects that we’d hoped to complete over the winter sink lower on the list. And so it all begins again.

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