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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Watching the swallows dip and reel

Another heat wave; I go out at dawn or in short twenty minute shifts to do anything much. You can see the garden is very mature for mid-July. So are the weeds.

The soaker hose bought this year both fell apart after a couple of weeks' dragging around. So I'm using the last of those bought ten years ago (!!) which holds up much better. A clue to the collapse of industrial civilization.

For lunch, I'm cutting a single leaf of Fordhook Giant chard.

Ours were grown from saved seed. Fordhook dates from the 1920s and was a Burpee developed strain. The stems are to my mind even better than the greens. It transplants well. It does prefer well composted loose soil and lots of water. You'll find it tolerates both sun and shade and lasts through most of our summers and most of our winters. Goes to seed prolifically and volunteers grow true to form. The seed companies say it grows to 18" high but they are being modest. Many specimens grow to over three feet not counting those that bolt in heat waves.

Cut it up and separate the greens from the huge midrib.

Steam the midrib pieces for twenty minutes, then add the greens for another ten.

Butter and salt to taste. Go outside and eat while watching the swallows dip and reel.


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