Tuesday, January 8, 2008

More Warm Southern Winter Days

The global warming trend continues with two days in a row in the 70's. It's crazy. I feel compelled to go outside and work though I have lots of things to do inside too. Yesterday our buddy J came by and together we cut back our 75 asparagus plants and weeded, fertilized and mulched the two 40 foot rows. We will be so glad when those babies start popping up in April.

Back when we first started the garden in 1998 our best friends J&M asked would we please plant extra asparagus for them? They live in a mill house in Carrboro with a postage stamp cottage garden. It's a lovely garden with sun in front and shade in back but no space for asparagus.

So we got together, dug the deep trenches, amended the soil and ordered the 75 asparagus crowns to plant. Each year J&M help with the maintenance and get as much 'grass as they can eat in return. When you first plant asparagus you don't cut them in the first year. Second year you cut for two weeks, third year for 4, after that, 6 weeks or as long as they keep putting up decent sized spears. Now we harvest a pound or so a day for about a month in the peak season and we eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and give lots away to friends. At any rate, one more chore taken care of and you will hear more about asparagus in April.

I also raked leaves and shredded leaves to make mulch for the asparagus beds. I am using an ancient leaf shredder that belonged to my father, I have no idea how old it is and am sure its blade is as dull as a spoon, but it makes this lovely light chopped leaf mulch. Combined with the heavy aged leaf that we bring by the truckload from the Carrboro public works pile, it makes the perfect covering to block out weeds, hold in moisture, and adds organic matter to the soil as it breaks down.

Last night we made a yard fire and grilled some chicken wings from the freezer and I cooked up a skillet of fried rice with lots o'veggies in it, the "eating from what's here" campaign has been going fairly well, only buying dairy and fruit for the past couple of weeks. We are not going hungry. The veggies that I picked on January 1st should last at least another couple of weeks counting the cabbages which have good storage capacity. What's really amazing is that even after three nights in the teens and 20's, the broccoli still looks pretty good and the spinach and swiss chard and radicchio, which I covered with floating row fabric, survived and are enjoying the warm weather! Life in the South, can't beat it this time of year.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

My chard survived, and the rest of my veggies are perking up and coming back to life. I can't believe it. I didn't even protect them.