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End of the Winter Garden

5 May 2011

The warm spring days, into the 80’s here at the coast, have singed my winter garden. Mesclun lettuce prepares to throw in the towel. The lovely endive pictured in my blog on February 2nd

has bolted, become bitter and been banished to the compost bin. 

Last week we harvested about a pound of snow peas one afternoon. Today, the vines are yellowed and production has nearly ceased. Sweet peas continue to bloom nicely with regular picking, but mildew overtakes the vines and they’re no longer photo worthy. Chard languishes at the shadowy base of the sweet peas so another meal of chard and the larger spinach leaves is on the menu. A few artichokes remain if I remember them for dinner tomorrow. 

While watering after work today, I noticed the beets need to be pulled; some are going to seed and are beyond the baby beet stage. Slugs and snails overran two “Pixie"baby cabbages I tried from Renee’s Garden Seeds. I salvaged what I could, but the remaining cabbage gets cooked. Garlic leaves are yellowing, but that’s expected as the bulbs mature. Scallions are becoming spring onions.

The broccoli has been pulled and dispatched to the green waste; too much to fit in my two compost bins. We may start a third. I was heartened to see the substantial root system of my seed grown, intensively planted broccoli. Sadly, I mourned the last day of broccoli season.

Thankfully, the red cabbage still looks lovely and the heads have matured with the longer days and warmer weather. Take note of the puddled dew on the foggy morning when this picture was taken.

I gathered the smaller spinach leaves for tonight’s dinner. Citrus, quinoa and spinach salad (Sunset recipe) paired well with stewed apricots, frozen from last summer’s farmer’s market. Good bread made a perfect meal.

The violas edging the scallions are looking better than ever 

but the Iceland poppies are a memory.

Things are looking a little tattered and worn in the winter garden. I’m on to the summer garden, now waiting in the wings.

Strawberry Guavas