Sunday, March 14, 2010

Notes from the Greenhouse - Week of March 14, 2010

When I was little, the place where my grandparents lived had a large English Walnut tree.  It was in the way and Grandpa wanted to cut it down, but Grandma won't let him.  She loved that tree, well not the tree itself.  She loved the walnuts.  I haven't seen walnuts grow for years, but as I remember it, there is some sort of fleshing coating around the shell.  As they fall, you just go around and pick them up, but then they need to dry. I can't remember whether the outer coating splits away from the shell as it dries, or whether it gets removed.

My grandparents grew crops that migrant workers would come to pick.  He built little cabins for them to live in while they worked for him.  They'd arrive to pick the strawberries and stay through the pole beans.  Then, quite frankly, they went back to Mexico.  Don't mean to offend anyone.  That's just what happened.  Many of them came back each year.

So at the end of the season, these little cabins would be vacant.  I remember walking through the place where the cabins were and seeing the floors covered in walnuts drying.  I can't imagine what she did with them all except every cookie we ate all winter long had nuts in them.  Grandma gave us sacks of them.  In the evening, mom would sit in a chair with two bowls at her feet, cracking nuts and putting the shell in one bowl and the meat in another.  Then she would carefully pack quart canning jars full of the nut meat and put them in the freezer for cookie baking day.

I mention this memory because I have a great crop of argula growing in my greenhouse.  Pear Walnut and Argula Salad will be on the Osborne table soon.  Looking forward to it, but I'll have to buy walnuts. 
  • The beefsteak tomato starts are starting to come up.
  • The lettuce starts in the greenhouse are looking good.  The two I put in raised bed 1 a week ago don't look that great, so that experiment wasn't so successful.  They can just stay warm for a few weeks longer. 
  • Oh, and the spinach is coming up in raised bed 1.  I planted seed directly in the soil one day when I was feeling optimistic.  I've got the ground covered with a mulch of clippings from the ornamental grass.  I brushed it away this afternoon to see rows of little spinach plants.  Yeah.  Husband won't eat spinach, so more for me.  I think spinach and blue cheese goes together, so that will be my lunch at some point later in the season.
  • The rhubarb plant looks good.  I've used the last of the strawberry rhubarb jam from last summer.  I plan to make quite a bit this year and give part of it away.  I'll buy strawberries at Bi-Zi Farms in late May and use my own rhubarb.  That will be fun.
  • As previously mentioned, the argula in the greenhouse looks great.  I need to remember to put a pear and walnuts on my grocery list.    
  • It rained a bunch this week, but temps were mild.  The ground is wet.  My work in the yard was mostly just cutting back the roses.  
  • I'm hoping to take the day off work the next nice sunny day.  We'll see how that works out for me.  
Oh, and an update on the pickled carrots.  I highly remcommend that recipe.  They taste awesome and they are beautiful.

And a question for anyone who can answer it.  Foy?  Annette?  Some seeds sprout almost every seed in the package, but some seeds sprout like 80 % of the seeds in the package.  Why is that?  

No comments:

Post a Comment