Thursday, June 18, 2009

Harvest Time -- Well, Sort Of

There is this lull, just after the big spring planting push, where an impatient gardener like myself feels both relief and a sense of mild depression as she asks herself, "now what?" It's almost hard to believe, at this point, that all those little seedlings and seeds I planted will actually bear fruit in the seemingly distant future. They are certainly growing, some by leaps and bounds, but still -- providing food? It's a bit difficult to fathom.

The beauty of spring crops like lettuce is that they offer a glimpse into what is to come in, say, August. And last night I got to experience that little glimpse when I harvested a colander full of mesclun lettuce from my front planters. Our family of five enjoyed a lovely Greek salad, with feta cheese, homemade greek dressing and sesame crackers. Had a loaf of sourdough from Breadsmith on the side.

Truthfully, the lettuce was a little soft because it had come close to wilting from the heat the day before. But other than that it provided a lovely eating experience. The lettuce leaves were flawless, protected as they were from rabbits and other pests, and there was nary a hole in any of the leaves. Totally pesticide free as well!

The thing that got me, though, was how quickly we ate all that lettuce. I mean, these five lettuce plants, which completely filled two large pots on my front porch, amounted to ONE meal for our family. How many lettuce plants would it take to feed us for a year? I'm still chewing on that one.

On a different note, I'm working on patching and beautifying my ugly lawn. The back yard in particular has huge bare spots. Out back I dumped compost from the city on the bare spots, then spread one bag of milorganite over the grass, then seeded. That was just before the torrential rain we got last night. My fingers are crossed!

I also took some of my many remaining seedlings (mostly tomatoes) and planted them in the onion patch on the side of my house. I STILL have leftovers, if anyone wants to claim them. They're looking a little sad at this point, so I'm sure they'd be thrilled if someone planted them in good soil and gave their pent up roots room to stretch.

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