I’ve just begun planning my spring garden. And by “just begun,” I really mean I am still getting around to tearing out the old stuff from last year. Well, that’s mostly done, and I just found a small crop of perfect, still moist-from-today’s-rain Swiss chard and Chinese mustard greens to boot! (Talk about a reward for procrastination…)

Swiss ChardThose beauties will be sautéed tonight with some dill and butter, and served alongside herbed brown rice, smoky black beans (recipe forthcoming), and maybe some tomato side. It may sound weird, but the dill and chard blend together in an unfamiliar symphony, the soprano and tenor voices combining into savory and tangy yet sweet flavors.

Much as it pains me, this year I am giving up on tomatoes (waste of space until it cools off enough for them to grow fruit buds in September, and then all I get are green tomatoes by November) and squash (squash vine borers spoiled it for themselves. Guess they’ll just have to wait and hopefully die out by next year). Admittedly two of my favorite summer produce items, but this will give me an excuse to frequent the farmers markets and collect seeds!

My list of desired plants is long. I need to figure out how to maximize growing space on the property without taking it over. My neighbors will probably hate me for it, but raspberries and beans are probably going to be trellised up the fence in the front yard. I can’t stand to think of the wasted space otherwise!

Also on the seed list…Brussels sprouts; leafy greens like chard, beets, mustard, bok choi, and kale; peas (the hubby’s favorite); purple potatoes (there is NOTHING like a fresh picked organic new potato, trust me, super sweet and actual potato flavor!); fennel; cauliflower; eggplants; okra; hot peppers; cucumbers; and artichokes. Probably many other things as well; I am only at “L” in the seed catalog. (Secretly, I would love to own a farm. With chickens. But I suspect that will not be in the cards…)


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