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Mother's Day

By Kate Gridley, May 9, 2011 - 11:30am

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Here's the note from a neighbor I found under my door on Mother's Day morning.

"Happy Mother's Day!...Don't worry about your rhubarb...it will return and, in the meanwhile, we have enough in our garden for you to pick anytime you want it. If we are not home you may just wander down and get what you need. I am actually eating it while gardening now."

I think I will wander down. My rhubarb is recovering from the tree we took down that squashed it in the process, but there's not enough to pick (must be a Rhubarbic Recovery and Rest year). My sorrel, distant cousin to rhubarb, is ready for sampling though. This will be a week of sorrel tarts, or perhaps some fresh fish with cooked sorrel as a sauce. Every year, more sorrel plants appear. I will pot some of them up and give them away.

Meanwhile, I have bought my first chicks, three New Hampshire Reds, and one turkey poult. They do not live behind my house (my garden helper, John, said no).Instead they have taken up residence at the "poultry palace" over at my friend Margy's house. We share the feed and when she travels, John and I bike over there to water and feed them, and gather fresh eggs. We'll be taking some of their dropping to add to the compost. Mine are the only New Hampshire Reds, so I may be naming them.

I like it that folks can share what's in their garden, their garden spaces, their experiences, their wisdom. Even their chicken houses. We joke, in our family, that "it takes a village" to raise our children. When gardening, the addition of "village" is more than heartening; it opens possibilities.

So what's happening in my garden right now?

The weekend bloomed sunny - finally -- and fresh, so I actually had a chance to get into the garden and plant seeds along with some of the starts that have been outside hardening off. The soil temperature is still cold, and the ground is wet, but my raised beds, which drain well, were workable and soil had warmed enough. The area of the yard where we plan to dig a new bed is too wet to rototill. I was relieved, though, to hear from my friend Judy, one of the first organic market gardeners in the state, that one can plant potatoes into July. So instead of focusing on the bed I wished to till, and plant the things I could not yet plant, I planted radicchio, more onions, artichokes, and celery in the raised beds, along with with parsley, tarragon, sage, and lemon verbena in the herb border. I weeded the perennial beds, divided and transplanted some of the more vigorous plants. I mulched. I potted up more of my seedlings and I messed with the compost.

It was a very satisfying Mother's Day in the garden.

It is funny how the first truly sunny days bring a sense of urgency with them. But there is plenty of time to plant. Plenty of time to sow.

TAGS: Kate Gridley, Gardening


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