Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Garden Goodies

We are now entering the time of year I love most. Things are starting to happen in the garden in earnest. You go out and see what's ripe and ready and plan dinner accordingly. Tonight we had beets and asparagus with our pork chops. I sauteed the beet tops in some bacon fat until they were quite limp. I then sauteed the sliced beets and asparagus in the same and topped them with diced bacon bits. There's one way to get a 5 and 8 year old to eat beets and asparagus and that's to do it with bacon. Mmmmmm.

I also harvested snap peas and a few carrots. The snap peas and the asparagus are two things that have a problem making it from the garden to the house. Many are lost to impulse moments after being picked. The snap peas will likely make to tomorrow's salad but the carrots are doomed once the boys find out they're in the house. We also have lettuce, bok choy, and pak choy coming in. The corn is getting some height to it and the little beans I planted next to each corn stalk are up and looking for support. The sunflowers are all up and tracking their namesake across the sky quite studiously. The sunflowers are mostly for show. I usually leave the heads on them for the goldfinches. You've never seen a happier goldfinch than one perched on a head full of sunflower seeds. By that time the males have lost most of their summer (display) plumage and are starting to look a little drab. Oh well.

We got THREE whole cherries off of one of the trees in the yard. I came home to find the central leader broken and hanging. I assume a bear visited during the day since all of the other cherries had been taken. I pruned the tree below the cut and I think I'm going to need to cull all fruit in the future until the tree is of sufficient size to deal with large mammals leaning against it. I could wrap those trees in electric fencing but the amount of electric fencing I have here is getting excessive. I joke with friends that the only place that has more electric fencing than our place is the Supermax prison at Wallen Ridge.

Speaking of bears I hustled home yesterday to get my oldest boy off of the school bus. I was reading the mail when I heard his bus round the corner and when I looked up the bus was swerving a bit and then stopped. When it finally pulled up to the driveway the driver asked me if I'd seen the bear that had just crossed the road in front of him. He stopped the bus so the kids could watch the bear as it marched up the hill. I hadn't seen anything. After the bus departed my son and I drove up the neighbors driveway to see if we could find it. Sure enough....there was a small bear standing on his hind legs looking at us. When he saw his chance he darted across the driveway and into the woods. I'd have to say that judging by its size that it was a fairly young bear. Perhaps a young male newly away from his mother.

Finally the sweet potato slips arrived and I have them planted in the greenhouse. I got a dozen Beauregard and 6 Vardeman. I have them in the greenhouse because they LOVE heat and the deer can't get to them in there. Last year all of my slips were eaten to the ground. Dang! We'll see how they do.

Enjoy and good gardening.

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