Early eats from the garden
Here's a quick tour of what I'm growing and eating in the garden these days. First things first: the strawberries are ripening! I ate the first one yesterday. It was still warm from the sun and had a fragrance and soft texture like nothing I ever get from store-bought strawberries shipped from who-knows-where. I definitely need to expand the strawberry patch in future years. I also need to do a better job of keeping the birds out so I don't end up with dreadful scenes like this:
I do have netting over the strawberries, but this particular berry was close to the edge and got nibbled by a feathery (or furry?) visitor. I wait and wait and patiently observe the berries' every transition in color from first blush to blood red, and then this. I hate it when the birds get them.
The garden is spilling over with onions and garlic right now. I enjoy having both, not only for eating but also because the plants give a nice green heft to the garden in the early spring before the summer veggies get going. They make the garden look full, even when it's not quite so. Here's the view from the opposite angle.
I sometimes cut the green onion tops and use them in salads. Here they are on top of my own-grown lettuces.
I have a nice selection of greens growing right now -- enough for fresh salads every day. The red ones on the right side of the photo below were in the 'Valentine' Mesclun Mix from Botanical Interests. Left of that is Green Oakleaf from Seed Savers Exchange. After that, I don't know what the frilly green kind is. Once again, in my typically excited haste to get seeds in the ground in early spring, I failed to label everything. I'm trying to be more diligent about using labels, but I still have my failings.
My radishes have been a delightful addition to salads. New this year, I planted the 'White Icicle' variety. I like them just about as much as the 'French Breakfast' variety, which is always a favorite of ours.
I discovered recently that I like radishes cooked -- sauteed, greens and all, in a little butter and olive oil with salt. Cooking takes away a bit of their bite. I'm going to experiment some more and see if I can come up with some interesting radish recipes. Suggestions welcome!
Elsewhere in the garden, the first pea pods are shaping up. I enjoy checking in on the little ones' progress every day.
The green beans are up now too. See? I did a good job of labeling those. I got those fancy copper labels in gift kit from Smith & Hawken years ago. They're of no use sitting in a box in the shed, so I finally started using them -- even if they are a little fancy for ordinary green beans.
I'll close out with my belly-on-the-ground shot of a pair of wax beans. Up, up and away they grow!