Sunday, April 24, 2016

What's Springing Up Now

After years of gardening and micro-farming, you'd think we would be desensitized to the debut of new buds and veggies each spring, but I tell ya it gets us every single time. Each year when our first artichoke pokes up its head, we cheer. When we uncover the red of a strawberry hiding beneath the plant's leaves, we get giddy (which, lately, is quickly squashed when we find that the chickens have eaten the berries...). The most fun of all is seeing growth we've never seen before—like the emergence of almond fruits on our young tree. Here's a springtastic look at what's going on at our house right now:

So many Meyer lemons. And a mockingbird nest in the tree. Watching Papa bird ferry twigs over all week has been my favorite break from writing marketing copy.

We've been eating a lot of artichokes. There are dozens in the front yard right now and we just can't keep up. Mr. W decided today that we need to make spinach-artichoke dip with them, so that's on the dinner list this week.

Buddha-guarded basil tastes extra good.

A friend kept bringing me chard from her garden because she had so much. Then Mr. W decided to plant some and we have such an abundance I'll probably start giving it away soon.

One of our first almond fruits! Woo hoo!

Sweet onions mixed with a couple marigolds to try to keep the bad bugs away.

A half-eaten strawberry. It would have been our first one of the season but someone else got to it first.

Buds breaking on one of Mr. W's many grapevines.

Purple broccoli. We tried to eat a fair amount but it goes to flower so quickly, it's hard to keep up.

Funkytown purple broccoli. I have no idea what happened here but it looks like a caterpillar took over the plant.

These suckers had been in their box for months but they still turned out ok and tasted quite good with a little sea salt, olive oil, and rosemary.

New plum tree (we was a freebie from Mr. W's dad).

My sweet little cactus flower that bloomed and fizzled out in 3 days. So pretty while it lasted.

Baby tomato plant that I so badly want to grow and start gracing us with the fixins for Caprese salads.

Each season is a delight and I'm hopeful that we'll have more time to devote to the garden-farm (farden? farmden? garm?) now that our major renovation projects are winding down.

Wait, what am I saying? The construction around this place never stops. In fact, just this weekend we started building a new fence in the side yard because those feathered little wienerbeaks Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha kept breaking out of the "fence" we had. Yes, the quotation marks are more than necessary because the "fence" consisted of one of the closet doors we ripped out of our bedroom + a piece of the previous fence propped up by 4x4s and a metal pipe + a scroll of chicken wire, under which the girls kept escaping. It was a sad, sad yard barrier.

Naughty, naughty sneaker-outers.

The new fence should be a heck of a lot prettier than the ramshackle one we had, and will hopefully do a far better job of keeping the chickens where they belong. You know, in the planter boxes, eating all of our strawberries...

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