Planting peas on the first day of spring.
Snow peas in August? Yes, please!
I’ve gotten over three pounds of snap and snow peas out of my garden in the past three weeks. My trellises are groaning. I’m in heaven. Peas and beans were by far my favorite veggies to snitch from the garden when I was a kid. My kids, not so much. More for me! I’ve been snitching for days, and feeling quite self-righteous when I do, thankyouverymuch.
(Once I make it to the grocery store to price peas I’ll do the math.)
Yes, I know that’s only three ounces. I’ve picked a lot more since then.
Good stuff from the garden, on its way to a pasta salad for a foodie party. Spinach, red onion, peas, garlic scapes, thyme, oregano, and shiitake mushrooms.
Thanks, domestic goddess turned convicted felon, for giving me the idea to blanch the peas in with the noodles right before they finished cooking.
The finished product. Added some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and stinky cheese, and I was good to go.
Note: the only thing I bought specifically for this spring salad was the pasta. I had everything else (yes, even the stinky cheese) in my kitchen, or I had plucked it from the garden. This, my friends, is one of the reasons why I grow things.
I’m working on it, I swear. What Uncle Sam never tells you is how all-encompassing growing things can be. When I’m not out in the garden, I’m thinking about it, cursing it, or dreaming about it. This is not necessarily a good thing.
But – things are starting to progress. Things are sprouting to the point where I feel like I’m not completely useless. The cold frame is done enough that it’s usable (though the windows are not actually attached to the frame at all, making hoisting the darn things a little difficult) and all the seedlings are outside. That is, all the surviving seedlings are outside. I’m not even going to dicsuss how many seedlings looked fantastic one day and dead the next. (Cilantro and romaine, I’m looking at you).
The peas are going INSANE. They’re already waist high and have completely overwhelmed the sad bamboo trellis that worked ok last year. And something has started munching them – though that only started about a week ago, so I consider myself lucky. I drafted my minions to help me wrestle some deer netting (aka nasty spiderweb craziness) and the peas are securely wrapped. Not sure how I’m gonna get to the peas, but that’s a thought for next week.
Now for the real goods: money. I caved and bought some seedlings at the Grow Pittsburgh seedling sale at the Frick greenhouse, mainly because I was unhappy with how my basil was growing and never got around to starting the dill. But! I was only sent two apple trees, not three, so not being charged for the third tree helped balance that out a little. I SWEAR I will buy no other plants or seeds. I promise.
Even better – harvesting has begun:
Yes, I know, it’s pathetic, but it’s only the beginning. In case you’re wondering, I’m weighing everything on our home food scale (that’s the best I can do), and then heading to the grocery store to see what the corresponding price is on the shelves that week. I’d compare it to our local farmer’s market but since that’s only for four hours one day a week and I’m usually doing a screaming trip to the store a half-hour before it closes, I figured this was more realistic.
A few weeks ago, I realized that our garden area (such that it is) mirrored my son’s garden diorama from school. I use a closeup of it for my header, but here it is in all its fabulousness:
This was the first ‘alternative’ homework project he’s worked on and enjoyed making. We planned the diorama first before we built it, he was in charge of background decoration, and we decided on and produced the vegetable garden beds together (which is why the tomato leaves are yellow like the flowers). He was excited to do something different for homework, I was excited to get him involved in an art project, and the topic of gardening was cool to both of us.
Little did I know that our relatively unplanned garden ended up mirroring this diorama. I hurriedly planted peas on St. Patrick’s Day after dark with the floodlights on. We decided to make raised beds for the ten tomato plants I had purchased with a neighbor after I had already purchased them. And I threw some carrot seeds into the mix after I remembered the cover of this book in my mother’s gardening repertoire (which I now have – the 1975 version that’s officially older than I am, that is). Yet, our garden is shaping up just as he and I planned:
He brought the diorama home on his last day of school this week – when I get home, I want to reinforce his great plan with what’s happening outside. An art project in the winter is yet another way to get your kids connected with the garden – whether or not you realize it at the time.