A Spring Garden

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A little bit goes a long way. Just when I thought asparagus season was over. It has not been the easiest spring seeding. Blame the weather, blame the seed, blame my compost, whatever. And bugs too. Ants, slugs, beetles, snails and on the wing as well. Horseflies too, I got bitten by one. Hopefully, I’ll have some lettuces this spring. The astute eye will note the reseeded miniature wild fennel as well as the newly formed squash/pumpkin plant.

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But there is no shortage of wild arugula no matter what the conditions. It is indestructible and tastes great too. Now is the best time with the new tender leaves. It looks a little “holey” but that is the nature of organic gardening. A little imperfection without chemical interferene.The darker leaf is mustard and also rejuvenates itself against all odds every year. Everything else in my little space needs time, kale, peas, fennel, leeks, onions and garlic. Later this month, again weather pending, I will plant pole beans, spinach, carrots, beets and turnips. Tomatoes even later again. The nights are still cold here, 43F here tonight in New England. It will be nipping at zero or freezing point elsewhere in New England. That’s a real buzz kill in terms of wanting to go out and actually plant something. So my romaine lettuce did’nt make the cut but the kale did and thats the zen beauty of organic gardening right there. Nature fills a vacuum. I’ll try planting romaine lettuce again and see what happens but in a small garden it has to compete for space with other plants that are doing fine.

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One of the cool things about having a garden and there are many. But, for me, it has to be the authenticity it adds to the flavors of your cooking. Pure, clean and simple. Such that you can understand how certain dishes became classics in the first place. This is asparagus risotto shown above. It has taken me a long time to get to this point to be able to understand such a simple, elegant dish and, more importantly, grow the asparagus. Maybe next year, I could grow the freaking rice. Hmmm, food for thought……..paddy grown rice. The irony!

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According to the UN, we all should be eating insects and bugs already. Locusts, wasps you name it. Grasshoppers too. I myself have not got to that point yet but understand the reasons. The concept of vegetarianism is not so alien after all. A healthful choice of animal protein derived from local artisenally reared organic USDA approved insects or a plate of local organic, sustainable carrots grown in rabbit or chicken manure. It’s all good.
This local insect, which hovered nearby like a Huey helicopter, was not for dinner to-night. He was busy pollinating. I run my local, sustainable, bio-dynamic and organic garden on the Blackwater, USA model or a soccer team. I contract out all my gardening jobs to insects. The good ones, that is. In fact, I have my own little air-force……..lady-bugs, preditary wasps, honey-bees. As well as a clandestine wing of spiders and a thriving underground of earthworms. If you use no chemicals, they will find their way to your garden and populate it. Eat like a peasant.

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