On rushed seasons

22 March is shockingly early for the first (measly) asparagus harvest, don’t you think?

The girl barges in through the back door Wednesday afternoon and announces “It sure is quiet out there!”  That morning’s trip with the dogcrate full of roosters guaranteed that the regular sounds of backyard bucolia have returned here.

My call to the butcher’s wife brought the usual guffaw from her.  “SEVEN roosters? You ARE a softie, honey.”

Jellybean and some of his wimmin.  What you can’t see is his torn-up wattle, poor thing.  Now he’s back to being #2 Rooster.

Er, not really.  The seven in question were late-summer chicks too small for the Thanksgiving turkey trip to the butcher in question.  We endured their presence until we just couldn’t (“we” includes the harassed hens and of course the now bloody and pissed-off Mary Ellen and Jellybean) any longer.  And since one guy was keen to “sleep” in the huge blue spruce which shades the henyard…well, let’s just say an early spring’s open windows and one obnoxious night bird are not exactly compatible.  It’ll buy you a trip to freezer camp, dude.

I envy those of you who are actively eating down the contents of your freezers.  I am somehow unable to ever see the bottom of a freezer (understandably, not a bad problem to have), what with the seasonal binges like a rooster harvest.  Things simply get replaced.

The new greenhouse:  I had planned on harvesting these greens by the end of April, not March…

One thing not easily stored is the lettuces.  My best-laid plans of harvesting one  older-lettuce-filled greenhouse and then moving on to the next baby-lettuce-filled greenhouse are crappy plans indeed with daily lows beating average highs here.  Three solid weeks of temperatures in the 70s/80s mean that the 100s experienced in the greenhouses are not good for anything currently in there…including the 100 cells seeded with tomatoes.  Sigh.  Time to reboot, clean out, reseed.  Weather, you know, just happens.  My plans would’ve been perfect in a normal year.

The routine on Sunday and Thursday nights:  gather ye CSA bags as ye may…

But what are we going to eat in May?  I wonder!  Better start seeding lettuce rows for the fickle world outside.

The nightly haul:  leeks, lettuces (Amish Deer Tongue and red romaine), atop bolting collards, asparagus and onions…with herbs. 

10 responses to “On rushed seasons

  1. I hear you. What a bounty! My sorrel that overwintered is starting to bolt! Luckily, we’re back to a normal 60 degrees here today. Hope these temps stick around for a while.

  2. It’s been nuts, hasn’t it (this weather)! I’ve been told we can plant peas here, too – but the Adirondack gal inside me just can’t quite bring herself to plant anything before May! Still, perhaps the next sunny weekend I will pull some plastic off the garden, loosen up a couple beds, add some organic matter, whack in some posts, and plant those peas.

  3. I was surprised at how depressed I got when I saw freezing temps on the horizon. Looks like no fruit this year, peaches, pears and bush cherries have all bloomed.

  4. I’m wondering what to do, if anything, about my asparagus. Went out to clean up the bed (installed new last year) and saw lots of little spears poking up. Should I cover it if a frost comes? Or could I lop off whatever spears are there, eat them, and hope for more to appear (after this craziness has ended, which it surely will here in New England) to feed the crowns for next year?

    • Hiya Karen. Harvest now if you want to: they’ll freeze and collapse and won’t be edible otherwise. But I wouldn’t worry at all about the growtn a week or so after the frosts. They’re quite hardy. (Also: I have never, ever been able to wait 3 years. I just nibble a few until that 3rd spring!)

  5. Yep, crazy stuff. Have to rethink beds and timing.

  6. We’ve been talking about making a greenhouse happen this year and this post has sealed the deal. Even with the warm weather and things not going as planned you’ve got a heck of a lot more there than we do here and, dammit, I want year round freshness.

  7. I didn’t put many seedling out until this week for fear of scorching them too! We seemed to have fared a little better with the bolting situation, one case where being a bit later than you guys seasonally is a plus I guess. I have a new round of outdoor stuff coming up as well, just in case!

  8. Namastemama, indeed…the flush of good stuff is just that, a lot of good stuff. I guess it’s just up to us to figure out what to do with it all! And yeah, kooky weather will make sorrel (and its relative rhubarb) bolt, sigh.

    Ellen, get out the tools, lady! I had the opposite problem when I moved to Minnesota, trying to garden in April. My peas have been up for a while now. Yum.

    John Michel, don’t fret; some might have been spared. Doesn’t stop us from worrying here, either, but…sometimes things do still come through. My hay guy told me that his neighbors have sprayed their fruit trees 3x already this year. That’s, like, crazy.

    Stef, you’ve had a few crazy years together. I suppose it toughens us up to containing our expectations?

    Diana, I have ordered my 3rd greenhouse…should be here in a week or so and then erected at the end of the month…stay tuned. And: congrats.

    Sara, yeah, the outdoor stuff is now catching up to the indoor…an okay thing, as those blossoming brassicas are quite beloved by the bees. And can I say again how I am hopeless at growing spinach? Hopeless.

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