• Tag Archives peas
  • Grounded. At last.

    Spring                                                                       Planting Moon

    Yes!  Planted under the planting moon even if I couldn’t get the bloodroot up for the bloodroot moon.

    We have Wally and Big Daddy onions in, 100 sets each.  Three rows of beets:  Bull’s Blood, Early Blood and Golden.  Pickling cucumbers and Dwarf Gray Sugar Snap Peas.  Of course there was bed prep, too.

    With Kate and I wandering around holding this limb and that a bit tenderly I kept getting the image of a dinner bell, fried chicken and mashed potatoes, perhaps someone playing a little Stephen Foster on the grand piano.

    Of all the gardening chores, planting is the most magical to me.  That tiny seed.  A beet, a cucumber, a pea.  Those small plants, a fat onion, or a thick leek.  Couldn’t plant the leeks today because the ground is still frozen at about 3 inches down.  How about that?  April 27th.

    Had to cancel the Chicago trip due to Kona’s vet bills.  Keeping dogs is a choice and keeping 4 is the same choice 4 times over in terms of food and care.  Choices I have made and make cheerfully.

  • Fitter

    Spring                                                       Waxing Flower Moon

    Kate called from the Northstar.  She arrives in Anoka at 5:52.  She took the light rail to Target Field and caught the train home from there.  Feels like living in Connecticut.  I’m glad to have her home.  This is a two-person house and needs both of us to make it run smoothly.

    Got the results of the fitness assessment I did last week.   The heart rate thresholds were not very dissimilar from the ones I had been using, though the max is about 10 beats higher and the mid-range of low is about 3 beats higher.  I got some good recommendations on how to modify my aerobic work and, as I hoped, the whole experience gave me a jump start back to the more comprehensive workout I had been doing before Christmas.  It involves flexibility, muscle warmup and stretching and resistance.  I kept faith with the cardio, but I’d let the other stuff slide.

    Spread more compost and worked it in.  I’m almost ready to plant.  In fact I may plant tomorrow morning before I amend the soil in the next bed, the one with the garlic and the lilies.  The garlic and onions and parsnips look healthy, as does the asparagus and the strawberries.  The bed for the leeks and the sugar snap peas and the bok choy needs some weeding and some soil amending, too.  In the next day or two I should have all the transplants and seeds in that go in now.  Just got word that the potatoes are on their way, so I have to get some more composted manure for the potato/bush bean bed.

    Last night I did research on four of the ArtRemix objects and I’ll finish all 8 of them before Friday.  The tour itself is not until May 7th.  Thrashing around the enlightenment, romanticism, modernism, Liberalism, post-modernism, Vico and Rousseau.  I want to arrive at a synthesis between enlightenment thought and the thought of its primary critics, those in the romantic family of thinkers:  Rousseau, Hegel, Kant, Vico, Burke, Hume.  Maybe somebody else has done it, but I want to do it my way.

  • Dinner Straight From the Plant

    Summer                        Waxing Green Corn Moon

    Dinner with vegetables straight from the garden is a treat and can be a surprise.  It was tonight.  We had potatoes, new potatoes-709042potatoes, dug just before cooking.  They had a distinct flavor, a nutty earthy  tone unfamiliar from the long since harvested potatoes typical of both home and restaurant cooking.  This meal included our garlic, our kale and chard, the potatoes garnished with our flat parsley and a bowl of sugar snap peas as an appetizer.

    Digging potatoes involved a spading fork to loosen the soil, then searching around under the earth for these lumpy  treasures.  They grow well in the sandy soil here in Andover.

    (pic:  potatoes before harvest)

    Kate takes off for the Grand Teton’s tomorrow, a CME conference.  BJ is also out there, playing in the Grand Teton music festival as she has for the last several years.  The Tetons have an incredible beauty, the American Alps, a very young mountain range.  She’s back on Wednesday, then we go to see a micro-surgeon who has perfected the technique for cervical vertebrae.  He’ll evaluate Kate’s candidacy for that surgery.

    Lots of weeding today and more tomorrow.  A normal task in late July, early August.

  • In the Garden

    Summer                        New Moon

    A.T. used the chainsaw this morning.  He cut out a mulberry tree growing in an unwanted (eastern) location.  A.T. feels manly after he uses the chainsaw.

    Kate and A.T. harvested peas, greens, beets and turnips, too.  A.T. planted beans as a cover crop among the onions, where the garlic came out.  A.T. plans a much larger garlic crop for next year.  He has 9 or so large bulbs set aside for planting and set in an order for several new varieties.  At the SSE (Seed Saver’s Exchange) conference over the weekend a speaker suggested planting the garlic earlier, even in August.  A.T. asked SSE if he could get his garlic earlier than the September 7-9 ship date.  Nope.  Not to  worry, he’ll plant his own in mid-August and check the crops against each other next June.

    This whole gardening process now begins to blur the line between horticulture and agriculture.  With crops meant for immediate consumption, but others for storage:  potatoes, turnips, carrots, squash, beans, garlic, onions, greens and peas, plus the eventual fruit yields, our garden has become a substantial part of our lives.  Substantial in the transubstantiation notion loved by Catholics.  We eat of the body of our garden and our orchard and in our bodies it becomes use, transfigured from plant to human.  A sacred event.  Substantial in the way it requires the use of our bodies to realize its harvest.  Substantial in the political sense since it cuts down trips by car, makes our place better than we found it and keeps us close to our mother.

    The bees have added another dimension.  An interdependent, co-creative collaborative effort.

  • Peas, Turnips and Parsnips Oh, My

    Beltane                    Waxing Flower Moon

    Many daffodils bloom outside the writing area.  No tulips yet, but they should bloom in the next few days.

    Snow peas, sugar peas, garden peas, snap peas all went into the ground this morning.  This took a while because there were several steps.  First, loosen the soil with a spading fork.  Rake smooth.  Create a taut twine line marking the location of the trellis.  Scratch a half inch to one inch furrow on either side of the twine.  Lay down inoculant in the rows.  Then, one by one, place the peas.  Do this over and over until 4 rows run parallel to each other.

    In between the 1st and 2nd rows and the 3rd and 4th rows, reachable with ease from the bed’s edge, white globe turnip went into the same soil.  Turnips like pea companions.

    Another bed, this one with a nice daisy and a star-gazer lily, got loosened up, too.  After a smoothing with the small garden rake, parsnip seeds fluttered down onto the scratched surface, tiny space ships with feathered brown edges and a cockpit containing the parsnip seed.  The parsnips, after thinning and trimming, get a mulch and then remain in the ground until next spring, achieving their nutty flavor through hard frosts and a hard winter.

    At that point the noon sun had made me hot so I came inside to write, have lunch and take a nap.  Later this evening I’ll plant greens, beets and carrots.

    One more thought on garage sales.  Here in Minnesota, after a hard winter, they are also the equivalent of a  social event for post-hibernation bears.  Minnesotans love the winter, but during the winter our travels outside of our home usually have a distinct purpose and almost always head away from the house.  There are no yard parties in the winter.  Well, not many anyhow.  Some folks just gotta barbecue.

    When the weather warms up, though, lawn mowers come out.  Lawn chairs.  And, garage sales.  Neighbors drop by to say hi, see if you made it through the winter, and coincidentally, to check out your stuff.