Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Swiss Chard anyone?

"A time to plant...and a time to pluck up that which is planted"

Saturday was great, even if I did sew the entire side seam of my dress-in-progress wrong for the second time.  You see, I spent a good part of the day outside with my favorite Master Gardener!

It's that time of year. The time where baby leaves coat the oaks, the fog is gone, and the March storms delightfully fickle.  Here in the Great Central Valley, if we are lucky enough to have gotten winter crops planted, well, we truly do both parts of that famous Ecc. verse.  The boysenberry vines have been pruned and meticulously tied.  See the new growth?  Just 2 short months and I'll be back to picking boysenberries every 2-3 days.  The one outdoor activity I missed Sat. was the planting of a 2nd row of berries over on the far hill.  Next year will be the first harvest.....I'm hoping to have some u-pick berries from that row! 

 Striding out with camera in hand, I found the imaginers and their sidekick.  Sarah was picking weeds (yeah, weeds at our house in spring time is fairly common) and feeding "glansen" to her horses.  John was adding sticks to a leftover tomato cage to make his windmill.  Stephen? Just wondering around blissfully a part of the outdoor action =)

Stephen - watching our Master Gardener hoe the baby potatoes.
MG actually said it was one of his favorite things! 

Tiny onions...I had the pleasure of dividing and transplanting the "extras". I'm actually a wee bit concerned about the size of our possible harvest.  3-4 35' rows?  

Seeing the rows of potatoes coming up IS extra rewarding when you have a hand in dividing all of the potato seed. It's a bit of a contest to me....how many eyes CAN you separate out of ONE potato? =) 


Yes, my husband is a measurer...each row gets a piece of pvc at both ends, a string to mark the row....and voila...straight rows.  It really is GOOD that I'm not in charge of that process. =)

 Our trusty 4 row planter completed the 7 row job faster than our row man could make new rows.  =) 
 Yeah, we like to gang up on him like that.  For those of you interested in varieties, we planted Ambrosia - a bicolor "sister" corn to our favorite - Bodacious. I'm sure our next planting will be the latter.  Thanks, Sharon - for bringing some seed from IN!

First time ever - we planted some beans to dry - Italian Rose.  I'm rather intrigued.  The zucchini doesn't "call" me at quiet the same level...especially when I hear that there are 14, yes FOURTEEN, Zucchini out there.  "Well just feed the mission if there is plenty" says He. Hmm, I'd better reserve further comments until said squash is ready to pick.  But if you see me dashing around the church yard this summer after church...=)

A few of our cabbages have heads, the rest appear ready to bolt - a combo of warmer Feb. weather and starting our seed at the time we should have been planting transplants. I'm really ok with it, b/c that amount of cabbage sounded a bit overwhelming....I like sauerkraut, just not sure I'm ready to make it.  Plus I don't have a big crock.  Which is ok, gotta save SOMETHING for next year, yes? =)
Sugar Snap Pea picking bribery abounds at our house...it happens so much happier when you say...."you have to pick one container full.  When you get 3 containers full...then you get a sucker"

 Whoosh...they are out of the house.  I joined them today for a more thorough going over.  They aren't perfect, but my older 3 all eat them - esp. with that childhood favorite...ranch dressing. 

Speaking of eating...the last and best garden moment of the day was walking out to the front flower bed and picking a bunch of swiss chard with Sarah.  It was the seed SHE picked out this last fall, and now we've had it 2x for supper.  The Multicolored really is pretty!
 We had to wash it thoroughly.
 and sauteed it with oil,  garlic, salt & pepper, and boysenberry vinegar for a bit of sweet zing. 
delish...hardly enough for 5 of us. Now i just need to let it grow and get BIG like the acreage over on Covert Rd.  That is some lovely swiss chard. 

I really do have hope for Stephen - right now he's a bit of a fruits and veggies snob....but how can he resist the delicious bounty of Daddy's garden?  He'll learn....=)  cause I'm not about to give up. I'll just send him out with John this summer to pick beans....cause John eats them off the vine...tomatoes too...you MIGHT not want to have him over if you have a garden .

Keep planting and hoping and eating and praising the Lord for his bounty.  Most all of us know the law of the sower.

You reap what you sow
You reap more than you sow
So sow in truth

And that wonderful thought question....what is the one veggie you don't really like?  Why?  Mine is bell peppers.  The odor is offensive.  The crunch? delightful.  I like them roasted....but NOT raw.  And please don' t ruin a pizza with them =)  And beets?  Well, I'm neutral on those beauties.  My husband wants to plant some, so who knows, maybe I'll be plugging beets into allrecipes.com this summer?

Kendra - No, I didn't aim this post at you...and I hope it doesn't make you sad!  Ok, now I'm sad b/c it has been so very very long since we've seen each other.  Praise the Lord for computers, yes?  Miss you, and certain other of my far flung friends that go waaaaayyyy back to teen years =) I can't name you, b/c that would be leaving someone out.  But if you knew me back then, consider yourself missed.  There is just something special about old friends. 

P.s. - When I say "Master Gardener" - I mean of our small domain - there are LOTS of Master Gardeners out there!


  1. Now how did you know what I would be thinking? :) I WAS ready to sigh, thinking how I'd love to see my beautiful valley again. But I've got beautiful valleys here too!! And the snow IS melting. :) <3 you

  2. Love the pictures! So fun to see a bit of your everyday life happenings! How wonderful to have an abundant garden! I confess I am not much of a gardener. We usually have sweet corn and we all gobble it up.

    I am not real fond of cauliflower. I like it ok in broccoli-cauliflower salad, but wouldn't care if it was all broccoli.

    I have never had Swiss chard. Miss Sarah looks quite pleased. She is such a cutie!


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