Things spring. Our garden beds are taking off, head-started by plans laid in late Fall for once, instead of delayed by unrelated time-eaters and wet weather. Rain, rain, come again today, this year we're ready for you. Whenever you aren't visiting, more seeds are likely to be planted. This is when I'm especially grateful to be self-employed. I don't have to go to an office and watch fine weather pass by.
Each year I surround one bed with garlic, planted in November. The cloves develop underground, sight unseen, until they begin to poke out in January or February. Now they're 3 inches tall, as they should be.
It's the onions' turn. Their bulbs wait under a few inches of mounded soil. Actually, I doubt they're waiting. Planted three weeks ago, their hairy roots probably are reaching down and around, while green shoots aim sunward. If I were a scientist, I might dig here or there to see what's happening. Instead, I'm reluctant to sacrifice a single sprout.
Lettuce in the coldframe races to catch up with greenhouse greens almost ready to grace our table, while tiny lettuce and spinach seeds in the garden should be sprouting tiny thin first leaves any day. Every few weeks I'll be planting a new generation and as the heat of summer approaches I'll gamble on greens thriving in the shade of an ash tree. If we're lucky, we'll have home-grown salads year-round.
A year ago I planted fava beans too late, thinking they grow like green beans and limas. They burned black in the summer sun. This year, their wide fat seeds have already been sown. Maybe they'll grow, this fava bean virgin wishes.
"Peas, peas, peas, peas, eating goober peas," sings Virginia. "Goodness how delicious, eating goober peas."
Well, it's too early to plant goober peas, but Wando and Laxton's Progress peas are doing something underground. I hope to be shelling several bushels in 3 or 4 months. I know, sugar snap peas and snowpeas are cool. I plan to stick some of those in the soil later, far enough away and late enough not to cross with the shelling peas.
All of this reminds me of the one class I took from my father, Genetics.
The Bowman Women; A Work In Progress
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