It’s full spring here in Northern California, with seedlings popping up on their own, seedlings planted for the garden, and a general rush of growth. I went though the labyrinth and potted up a tray of small geraniums like this one that had self-seeded all over the paths, and took them along with some marigold and shiso seedlings to give away at the Kensington Farmers’ Market. They disappeared in about 20 minutes.
For my own garden I planted three kinds of carrots, and some early girl tomatoes in the ground, along with a tray of lettuce, coriander, spinach, squash, cucumbers, poppies and nasturtiums. The squash and spinach are almost ready to transplant. The cucumbers and lettuce are a little slower, and the coriander and flowers haven’t really shown up yet.
Meanwhile, from Whole Foods I tried a package of “cheesy kale,” dried kale with a paste of cashews, red pepper, lemon juice and salt. It was good, but pretty expensive. I have a lot of kale in the garden, so decided to try to duplicate it. I washed an dried the kale and spread it on a baking sheet, and blended about a cup of roasted cashews, 1/3 of a red pepper, juice of a lemon and a 1/2 teaspoon salt until it was a paste. I added about 1/4 cup of water along the way to help the process along. When it was smooth, I spread it over the kale:
I put the tray in the oven and baked it for several hours at 150 degrees, the lowest my oven goes. I kept it there till the kale got crunchy.
Back in the garden, this is the beginning of the second year of the labyrinth and the winter greens are already going to seed, preparing for a summer crop. I see why we use the expression “going to seed” in a pejorative way. Once a plant decides it’s time to bolt, the process is irreversible, no matter how diligently you snip at it. Every shoot heads upward, the leaves get bitter, and the energy shoots into the seeds.
For gardeners who want control of what they grow, this means you simply have to uproot the plant. For me, it means waiting a bit for the new seedlings, then weeding some out. The chickens are helpful with this, as they love seedlings of almost any kind.