Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Spring arrives

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Spring has arrived in Tucson. Sure, it still gets bone-chillingly cold at night. But the days are very gentle, inviting us to stay outside just a little longer. Most of Erik's native garden still looks brown and dormant, with a few exceptions. The bees are very thankful for my collard greens blooming. Thank God for Brassica! A bright spot and tasty food in an otherwise sea of less useful plants!

Another sign of Spring is that it is planting time. Plant your summer garden now. Plant your tomatoes and your peppers. My garden has evolved in just the short year and a half that it has existed. I believe I have completed one full year of gardening. Yea me! The garden was wonderful while I was pregnant. Pick-axing the bermuda thatch and shoveling the hard-packed desert ground provided just the right amount of physical exertion when I needed it.

At first I planted the seeds in rows with troughs between them, the way I assume is the "standard" way of gardening. Standard don't work too good in the desert! So I dug out square shaped depressions and filled those with a mixture of compost, manure, dirt, and straw. Then I just randomly planted the seeds or seedlings. That's how I successfully grew the beautiful patch of collards that I use to feed my Corucia!

I also grew a patch of radishes, but found the radishes were too plentiful in supply (that's a good thing!) and they ended up getting very bloated and hollow. Fortunately, that variety, French Breakfast (I love that name, because of the image it conjures) doesn't get too spicy or bitter when it gets old. I sliced some of them up into thin strips and poured a little oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper on them and it was darn good!

Once the patch had been de-radished it made the perfect spot for the Indian onions given to my husband by his co-worker. These little bulbs are pretty much full size, but with a little luck they will form dense mats of tiny, tasty onions.