This photo is from a few nights ago, right as the sun was tipping below the tree line. Everything in the garden has grown another foot since then, and is looking so healthy and full of promise. I think some of the harvests will be almost unmanageable this season, and it’s already begun.
Chris took Lila and his mom up to Lake Erie for the day so I could get some client work done, but as soon as they left I started prepping the peck of pickling cukes I picked up at the market yesterday. I made a four quart container of spicy half-sours, and am almost finished with four quarts of Korean refrigerator pickles. Then I fed scraps to the chickens, collected eggs, and gathered up my bamboo poles, my favorite Japanese hand weeding tool, scissors, twine, extra cucumber seeds, and a big bowl for harvesting to bring down to the main garden.
By 10am, this garden is already in full sun, which is a huge part of why it’s thriving so well. It gets between nine and ten hours of full sun compared to my other beds, which only get five to six.
First I took the eight-foot bamboo poles and wove them through the fencing so the pole beans that are already climbing the wire can continue to grow higher. Then I mulched around the plants with more straw, now that they’re climbing.
I spent an hour going through the cucurbit plants squishing the cucumber beetles to death between my thumb and forefinger. They’ve done some damage, but for the most part the plants seem to be staying ahead of the little stinkers. Just to be sure, though, I found two other sections of fence – one on the west end and one on the east – where I planted a dozen more pickling cuke seeds. All of the seed beds from this week’s planting were bone dry again, so I gave them a good dousing, then let the sprinkler drip in the cucumber bed. I counted five baby cukes and many flowers.
Most of my basil plants were already putting out flowers, so I harvested about half of each plant, clipping down to let lower leaves bush out, and tonight we’ll be having Ohio City Pasta’s handmade papardelle with pesto, along with grilled leg of lamb from a local farm. The lamb has been marinating for a day in a dry rub of my garlic, kosher salt, and fresh rosemary and thyme from the garden. We’ll have the last of the lettuce and snap peas for a big salad to go along with it.
Anyway, so I spent two hours working in the garden and came in just a few minutes ago to finish up the Korean pickles, clean up the kitchen, switch the laundry to hang out to dry (farking furnace out there today), then it’s time to get that paid work done so I can get back into the garden in the evening.
I was having a really rough few days with Lila, and desperately needed some head space. I’m so glad I took the time to something meaningful to me instead of just working on the stuff that pays the bills. Sometimes that costs more than it’s worth and the time I spent among the plants has given me a whole new sense of purpose to my day.
I’m ridiculously happy right now.