We have harvest!!
By Amy Kuras
One thing I have learned about gardening is that a lot can happen in a little time, and sometimes there’s a lot of waiting and then bursts of frenzied activity.
Case in point: We put in our cold crops in late April. And we waited, and waited, and worried about what to do when it was time for the hot crops to be planted when the cold crops hadn’t even begun to really take off yet. Thanks to some great advice from Molly and some surprisingly meticulous garden planning from me (let’s just say “meticulous” isn’t a character trait one typically associates with me) I figured out how to find good spots for the hot crops without crowding out the cold crops. So we planted, and watered, and hoped. That was May 18, the first day the garden officially opened.
We had a long-standing plan to head to DC and Maryland for a family reunion the following weekend, because it was Memorial Day. I slogged through the mud to look over the garden the day we left, May 23, and was happy to see a little bit of growth in just the five days since we’d planted. We got back late the night of Memorial Day (May 27) and finally moseyed over to check the garden on Tuesday evening.
Well. Mother Nature apparently held quite a Memorial Day party because things have just exploded. The lettuce plants doubled in size, the band of lettuce seeds needed a third thinning because the seedlings were all crowding each other out, the peas and broccoli grew a good couple inches, and beans and cucumber seedlings were starting to push above ground. The beets and carrots are starting to look well established, too. Teaches me to come to the garden without anything to bring home a harvest -- I pulled up the deer netting, had my husband hold out his shirt, and began piling lettuce into it!
It’s amazing what a little sun, a lot of rain, and good soil can do.
However, not all is perfection. I’d planted Brussels sprouts down the middle of the bed, because they take a long time to mature. Unfortunately, half of them look great but half have died, as have some of my kale plants and all of my collards. It’s disappointing, but realistically I’m the only one in my family who would have eaten a bunch of it anyway. More room for juicy tomatoes and snappy beans, right?
Amy Kuras is Research and Policy Program Manager for Detroit Food Policy Council and member of People for Palmer Park.