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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Very, very good

Rain came, and then a surprise freeze, like nothing we had experienced since early December, and then rain again. The local meteorologists have become more and more irrelevant, it seems -- "35 tonight, 55 tomorrow" translates as 27 tonight, 64 tomorrow. Planetary mood swings?

The freeze got into the grow tunnel, overwhelmed a small space heater there, and made off with all the young saved-seed tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Everything else, more cold tolerant, did okay. Risa has spent much of the last two days planting peas and transplanting out spinach, lettuce, chard, kale, and collards, reserving some of each in case of more surprises. For the summer transplants, though, she will have to rely on flats of starts from Territorial, which, in the light of certain potentially ominous developments, does not bode well for her notions of self-reliance.

The last sack of spuds from the cold room was parted out today. Only one potato went bad, which may indicate that the dark, ventilated cold room, with its supply of clean jute-fiber burlap sacks and its broad plywood shelves to keep things off the floor, is doing its job. About thirty pounds of reds and Yukons were in the sack, and of these some ten pounds went to the kitchen (having few or no sprouting eyes) and the rest were chitted to be planted out in an impromptu potato patch across the creek.

The deer fence over there may not get done this year, and potatoes are a crop they don't seem to browse, so it seems like the way to use these up.

Interestingly, there was an apple in the sack, and it also, unlike those in the last apple box, did not go bad. Risa ate it, and it was very, very good, and threw the core out to the chickens, who also found it very, very good.

There is local lamb stew in the crock pot, after last night's shoulder roast dinner, and some of the kitchen potatoes were diced and went into this, along with an onion and some bok choi and kale, pepper, sea salt, and chili powder. Risa dipped out some of the broth, to have along with a couple of jay-pecked duck eggs fried for breakfast, and she pronounced it very, very good.


[I]n the real world most of spring is disappointing. We looked forward to it too long, and the spring we had in mind in February was warmer and dryer than the actual spring when it finally arrives. We'd expected it to be a whole season, like winter, instead of a handful of separate moments and single afternoons. -- Barbara Holland, Endangered Pleasures

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