Saturday, January 23, 2010

Winter Harvest

"Once more I am the silent one who came out of the distance wrapped in cold rain and bells: I owe to earth's pure death the will to sprout."
- Pablo Neruda (1904 - 1973) Winter Garden

The week of recent rains have brought both good and bad news to the Veggie Garden. The white flies are gone from the cauliflower, although you can see the pathetic stunted purple cauliflower. The one to the left was planted at the same time, but for some reason, some pest attacked the one on the right, prompting it to desperately re-grow and sprout. Nothing like the fear of death to make plants come alive.

Hungry rabbits knocked over the wire screen enclosing some lovely purple kale. All that’s left are the skeletons. I’ve replaced the screen, and if the plants are brave enough and have the will to sprout, they might yet live. I'm not a big fan of kale anyway, but it was pretty to look at. I don't care for any leafy greens you have to cook first. Kale gives me flashbacks to the slimy canned spinach I was forced to eat when I was a kid.

But the good news is the broccoli. The enclosure it lives in, built with love and care by T, protects it from all predators larger than the diameter of the chicken wire. Between the insects and the squirrels and rabbits, it's been a struggle to grow veggies the past few years. Perhaps all the recent rain will revitalize the plants and strengthen them against attacks by predators who come silently, presumably at night, to munch.

Here is part of the harvest. I gave broccoli away to others as I strolled through the Garden after a meeting this morning. The taste of real broccoli, immediately after it’s picked, compares to store-bought broccoli about the way Aretha Franklin’s singing compares to mine.

Dinner tonight will include fresh broccoli slaw, and some yummy organic pork sauteed with roasted tomatoes and some of my canned caramelized onions and garlic. Eat your hearts out rabbits!