At the end of last week I contemplated all the truly productive things I could do over a three-day weekend—most of which would contribute to the cleanliness and order of the interior of my house. Those thoughts didn’t even last a New York minute before I tossed them aside in favor of working in my vegetable garden and starting the V-neck on Mara. The garden needed the most attention, which I could give it starting first thing in the morning, with afternoons and evenings set aside for knitting.
I’m now certain there’s no such thing as a typical growing season. This year, like years past, I start out with sketches on graph paper of what I will grow in each row. There is a page for spring, another for summer, and a third for fall. Because March was like May and April was like early March, things got very complicated. (And I might add, the house got very messy as I had to drag my transplants indoors from my deck because the nights were too cool to leave them out.) In addition, March was dry, but late April and the last few weeks have seen tremendous deluges—the most recent was on Friday, when I’m certain I got nearly 4 inches of rain in a single storm. So now the plans are nearly worthless, and I’m pretending that summer is here—at least for the gardening.
At the end of last week, after a few rainstorms, my garden looked like this. Weeds were everywhere, and we nearly exhausted the spinach (the empty-ish rows on the left).
Now, three days later, I have tomatoes, with interplanted lettuce, where the spinach grew (the cages are on the left). There’s a new bean tower on the right, which I seeded today, replacing some mustard greens. Also, most of the rows are nearly weed free.
The row covers are protecting broccoli from cabbage moth larvae and beets and chard from leaf miners.
This week it is on to gorging on lettuce:
My salads have been a wonderful mix of mustard greens, lettuce, beet greens, and radishes.
The problem I have now is that there is really plenty of time for eating lettuce, but the plants intended to replace the lettuce have grown apace. And it is warm enough to plant them. It breaks my heart to pull the lettuce before its time, but there’s no choice but to do that. Here’s my flat of peppers, just waiting for its chance (which it will get next weekend) to join the tomatoes.
Luckily for the chard, my eggplant transplants aren’t ready yet, and so they’ll remain for at least another week—although I interplant my eggplant with filet beans, and I just could put them in next weekend too.
One of the fun things about the garden is discovering the little extras that I can’t get from buying vegetables in the supermarket, or even the small farmer’s market in my locality. Last week, I tried my first herbal vinegar of the year, using chive flowers. The “instructions” for this variety of herb vinegar in most sources are to simply fill a sterile jar about half full with the chive blossoms, add the vinegar, and put the jar in a cool place.
This is what it looks like after 5 days, and I’ll give it a try toward the end of this week.
The other neat little extra is our garlic scape pesto, which is part of tonight’s dinner. There are probably enough scapes on their way for another batch at the end of this week.
I’ve not been so nimble in adjusting my plans for “summer” knitting. I really don’t want to acknowledge that summer could disrupt my knitting with wool. I have been barreling along on Mara. The body tube is growing, I made it through the first repeat without any mistakes. I have not been as lucky since then. There was a tinked out row for a mistake in the pattern, and now I’m making a major correction. Despite all the work I did to figure out what the yarn dominance ought to be, I somehow messed it up. I’ve gone four rows with the yarns in the wrong hands. So tonight I’ll be tinking two (or possibly four) 333-stitch rows, so I can then take a stab at getting it right.
And here I thought I’d be up to the shaping for the V-neck. Well, I don’t have to worry about the pressure of having it done in time for the cold weather. I’ll have months of happy knitting, and the way things have gone this week, I’ll need every minute of that time for this future FO.