Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tcamp shared this with me - I stopped my WSJ subscription a couple of years ago. I'm not really craving greens right now, with a garden full of planted ones and a fridge full of CSA greens from a friend on vacation. But the nice thing about those lawn weeds is that they will be there all year, even when my garden lettuce has gone leggy and bitter, and many of them even in winter. Food just doesn't get any more local than the front lawn.
And plus, that's the only kind of leafy greens my kids will eat and consider it fun. They don't get enough to count for a daily vegetable, but at least they'll try them without a fight!
Count me out on the pokeweed, though. I think that if you have to change the cooking water, the plant's secondary chemistry might be just a little to challenging for my system. I'll let it grow, and if someone needs if for the food bank it will be there.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
But in reality, the party was hot, and the ground was hard, and the kids' interest level in the featured activity was slim to none. I ended up digging most of the holes, the kids whined about "how many more do I have to plant?", and I ended up replanting a number of bulbs which didn't quite make it underground.
The more long run problem is that since then, the bed had become infested with Canada thistle and wild garlic. (both infestations are discussed in the book, so I won't repeat the descriptions here) I have tried to interest the girls in helping me maintain the beds, but they have expressed Zero Interest. I figured that was my fault, for being too pushy.
But yesterday evening I was at Boyd for another event, and the director told me a story that made me think better of all these memories. At their afterschool program, the children are putting in a vegetable garden (which they will continue to maintain with their summer camp program). The director had come in to explain which couple of weeds the children should pull, and first, Emily breaks in to say Shouldn't they pull the wild onion too? And then Hazel breaks in to say We'll need gloves to pull the thistle, because it has prickers. A little while later, Hazel beckons the director over, and shows her the long root she got from a thistle plant she pulled, and they marvelled together at it.
I looked at the bed, after hearing this story. There are still patches, and it is still infested. But Hazel wasn't kidding when she told me that she pulled a lot of thistle yesterday. And apparently they don't mind weeding, as long as it is in good company, and they can be the resident experts, instead of mom.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
In most of my beds, too, there is also something else coming up - weeds? Oddly enough, I don't know what the seedling is, but in addition to the identifiable friends, there is another I don't know, but hopefully will soon. It might be pokeweed, given that the compost I use has some large pokeweed specimens growing nearby, and which I have never watched growing from seed. Whatever it is, as soon as I identify it, I will have a lot of weeding to do.
Waiting, weeding, and hoping: these are my tasks in the May garden. Waiting, to see what the heck I planted. Weeding, as soon as I distinguish friend from foe. Hoping, that the garden will offer something newly appealing to my picky girls, that they will finally try my purple potatoes, that they will understand the appeal of onions, or that I can coax them into eating strawberry-rhubarb pie before they dissect the rhubarb out of it. Hoping, that the disorder will become something magical, the predictable miracle of food growing from soil.