After a long spell of cold, rainy weather it is suddenly 87 degrees and total sunshine! The slight drawback are the 50 mph winds that are really drying things out. I’ve had to water the flats on the outside benches twice today, partly to keep them moist as they became dry and partly to just keep enough weight with moist soil to keep the flats from blowing off the benches. The good news is that there were a lot of “firsts” of the season today. Most importantly, (trumpets, drum roll AND happy dance, please!) the first strawberry!
Pardon the blur, but I was so excited I couldn’t hold the camera steady. Actually there are several that are nearly ripe, so I will pick the beds tomorrow. (Honoeye, a June-bearing variety)
The first pea blossoms (Little Marvel variety) opened today: Actually there are LOTS of those.
The first snow pea blossom (Dwarf Gray Sugar) appeared…just one lonely flower : The new white alliums are now fully opened: The clematis on the trellis by the bench is blooming for the very first time with huge flowers:
The first blackberry bloom appeared:
Although it was whipping in the wind and refused to hold still for a portrait. And the first black raspberry flowers in clusters that promise a good crop: But not all is good in the magical potager, for evil lurks. Today also marks the discovery of the first cabbage worm: It was actually on a broccoli, of course (their favorite, I think) and because I found one, I searched intently because my grandmother always said that these worms are like mice. “If you see one, there are ten you don’t see.” I found 7 of his relatives (probably kissing cousins) so there are no doubt more lurking, but these old eyes just couldn’t find any more, even though I searched the cabbages, kale, kohlrabi and cauliflowers as well. I would have sprayed Bt, an organic remedy that will kill cabbage worms even as small as an eyelash, but as windy as it was, and with rain in the forecast, I decided to use the squish elimination method instead. And, today the first herbal vinegar of the season was made:
If you’ve never made chive vinegar, do try it. Simply pop off the blossoms (right after a rain when they are clean, but dried off is a perfect time) stuff them into a clean jar, and cover with vinegar. You can use white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or plain white vinegar. Fill to the top of the neck, add a couple of wine corks (if you have them, if not a ball of waxed paper will work) to force the blooms to stay under the vinegar and add a lid. Allow to steep for at least three weeks, then strain and put into pretty bottles or jars. I always make vinegar with my chive blossoms, because if I don’t harvest them, they will self-seed all over the beds and even the paths. “Waste not, want not,” and you will be so happy to have chive vinegar for stir-fry, salad dressings, marinades, etc. that you will never waste your chive blossoms again.
So, today was an exceptional day. Other tasks were accomplished, but that is for the next post. Hope you day was exceptional and filled with firsts as well. Herbal blessings, Carolee