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THE BITTER WITH THE SWEET

March 12, 2014

12 March 2014

 I decreed I would not wander in the tall weeds with faux fictional exploits, but I can feel the permission already weighing heavy on my keyboard. Stop me before I lie. I want to talk about the farm and what grows there, but after looking at it all morning the mind urges to take flight. But I won’t talk about surfing. I won’t talk about Angelica Huston. I won’t delve into The Crimea, Google, The Bagrada, The Symphyla, The Health Department or The Drought, all of which could invest reams of copy. But somebody else has already covered these topics better than I can. Except maybe The Bagrada, of which I wish I was not so expert.

Instead, we can describe what happens out there on the rain-packed soils, where hoeing suddenly evolves into a tool-endangering enterprise. I have seen more than one blade snap out there, no matter be the operator trained or novice. Our transplant set is doing arguably better than our direct-seeded crops. The bok choy is jumping while the beets and chard linger. 2488 heads of mixed lettuce show an admirable vigor after the rain. Superhuman rows of fennel, smarter than any patch this side of Lancashire, thrive into maturity alongside red kale, broccoli and Lacinato kale. Turnips are so-so, owing to underground menacing of the minute root-devouring centipede known as Symphlya. Veronica purple cauliflower is pushing on amid the fancy planting of kolh rabi.

The croupiers are going to plant cucucucucucumbers and zzzzzuchini early again. If the freeze lays off, the early work will yield mucho casino. If it’s going to be 90 on Saturday all I can say is “ What took us so long?”

Peas be planting as do potatoes, more onions and leeks. Another round of cabbage and carrots are in. The six beds we planted to seed with the dark clouds issuing from Drenchtown on the horizon fare better than expected. Our lettuce scarcity is so dire that Wiley Connell could not contain his opinion of our sloth. So we got some heads from Stroke Grove, home of the Stockbridge Miracle. Can’t get more local than The Stroke. The Sunshine grapefruit you think are navel oranges came from Carol Vesecky in the River Bottom. Everything else is from the Us of you, not the Them of they.

Today we got tired of throwing away perfectly good kale leaves that the bitty finches have been murdering. Wes Jones is going to get his mow-jo working on the tractor in the big tangle formerly known as the Pepper Patch. Now it’s Nettletown, population ouch. We dare not tromp there further. That’s where the finches and sparrows secrete themselves from the swooping raptor perched in the oaks nearby. They need the safety of the calamitous growth, where they can wing into when a special shadow darkens their ground.

Nitana really, really wants to drive the tractor badder than a nine year-old boy so we will set her on the new Kubota and watch her crush some weeds.

Today’s share includes Wiley’s lettuce, kale, carrots, chard, cilantro, fennel, broccoli, arugula, and that bitter leafy you thought was lettuce last week. They are Italian chicories, so good for you, and better served with plenty of garlic and lemon, salt or anchovies, mayonnaise, yogurt, macaroni and cheese. braised chard, carrot juice, rice pudding, or some of that Sunday Evening Pizza they started serving at the Farmer and The Cook. This week’s special pizza will be the “Katy Gray”, which goes very well with fine beverages and Daylight Savings.

 

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