As soon as it was Spring, I started planting veggies. Almost to the minute! Before the sun went down on Mar 20, I was out in the garden with a little tiny bowl of carefully counted radish seeds (25) and much less carefully counted carrots (100?). Then again last week, on the 25th, another little tiny bowl, another two dozen radishes, another generous pinch of carrots, and suddenly one third of the upper bed in my back garden was planted.
I am all about carrots this year. The past two years I've been rubbing my eyes in disbelief over the size and quality of the carrots I've gotten from the wonderful loamy soil I inherited on this property. Lucky me! Years ago, I'd try to grow carrots in our native rocky clay acid soil, and you know what you get from that? Short, stumpy, split, sour, slow to mature and swift to seed.
But now I'm convinced that I can grow enough carrots to sacrifice huge quantities to make the ultimate beverage, the very elixir of the gods, the most healthful rush I've ever gulped down. Yes, I can! Last year, without really concentrating on it, I harvested twenty pounds of luscious, juicy, sweet carrots. This year, I'm trading half of my sweet potato space for concentrated carrot growth. Fifty pounds of sweet potatoes is enough. I want fifty pounds of carrots. That's enough for, hmmm, 3 gallons of carrot juice.
Worth it. If there's such a thing as thirst in Heaven, mine will be slaked with carrot juice. If there's such a thing as Heaven on earth, it has a garden in it that grows good carrots in abundance.
Carrots are very slow to germinate, but radishes aren't. Hello radishes!
Last weekend I paid a visit to a wonderful locally owned nursery, Reems Creek Valley, just up the road in Weaverville. Lots and lots of eye candy there. Ornamentals, exotics, aquatics, shrubs and trees, and the cutest violas I've seen anywhere. What I really went there for was onions, but I had to get some of those violas. And . . . AND! They had leek seedlings! My darling Lynnora has already requested leeks for this year's garden, so I was thrilled to bring her home two six-packs. They were so freshly sprouted the nursery folks had not even thinned them yet, so I got about fifty individual plants for four bucks. Oh, happy happy joy! AND . . . AND! They had so many colors of lettuce and chard, I almost bought too much.
I held back though. The voice of reason (O cursed voice!) reminded me that I had plenty of lettuce to plant from seed, and chard and kale, and collards for my Beloved, and this year I want to try beets . . . so. So, so, I bought one little six-pack. I got them all planted just before this endless drizzle began. The drizzle is making them berry berry happy.
Happy babies! See those needle thin leeks? I love them! every day when I go in my garden, I pet them and tell them I love them. Even leeks respond to affection. They do!
Apr 3, 2008 | 10:02 AM PST
carrot juice....ambrosia.....ok that is a hoot. Love the pics of the elephant ears! Maybe I will try some this year. I use to have a lovely little stand of them..in SC we dont have to lift them, but of course, mine were plain, run of the mill ears, not beautiful pedigeed ones like yours. Happy Gardening!