“Adapting!” All around the world, people will find they must be adapting, and quickly, to many kinds of changes. The virus outbreak that began creeping, but is now sweeping around the globe will force us to adapt, even here in the rural areas of central Indiana.
Due to my husband’s prompting, my still-full pantry shelves and freezer, I had decided to convert some of the potager’s raised beds into flowers or green manure crops this season. I even ordered more flower seeds than usual. The potager’s beds were mapped out with more attention to balancing color and texture with the additional flowers. However, now with all the closures and coming restrictions of all sorts as well as all the unknowns in the immediate future, I’ve decided to make some changes. To adapt.
Instead of more flowers, the potager will be pushed to produce even more food. We may not need it ourselves, but our neighbors might, or the food pantry, or the local churches that serve free meals. With travel restrictions, possible store and restaurants closing, or shortages, someone may be happy for fresh, organic veggies. The first early crops were sown earlier this week: “Strike peas” shown above, radishes, Chinese cabbage, pak choi, and lettuces. With lower temperatures and possible snow this weekend, other things will have to wait.
“Green Arrow” are my favorite peas, but they take a little longer and require a fence to climb. Planting them at the same time as the early “Strike” peas will give a second crop coming on as the “Strike” finish. More succession plantings of Green Arrow will go in weekly.
I’m not sure how it happened, but I neglected to plant some of the rows of garlic that I’d mapped out last fall. Interrupted by the rain, I suppose, and just forgot to go back to finish. At first I thought I’d plant a few rows now, since I have plenty of garlic left, even though the bulbs would probably be smaller than fall-planted garlic. However, now I’ve decided to simply plant cloves where there is a blank spot in the existing rows. (The squirrels always dig out a few while I’m away, and occasionally a clove doesn’t sprout, making a gap.) The space formerly designated for garlic will be more productive in other crops. While I had time, I decided to clean up the potager’s interior borders.
Of course, there will still be flowers in the potager. An initial clean-up had been done in all my borders and beds earlier last autumn, before I started traveling, and a bit more as bulbs were planted later, but some stalks were left purposely for hibernating insects and egg cases. Now that the spring bulbs are pushing through, it was time for a thorough clean-up. However the stalks didn’t go on the compost pile, partly because the compost is coming out of the bin and onto beds, but mostly because stacking the stalks against brush along the woods will still allow any beneficial hibernating insects and eggs to emerge undamaged.
Amazingly, this lively cabbage worm was heading across a bed to the last remaining kale plant! I don’t think I’ve found a cabbage worm this early in the year before. I moved him to the woods as well, and if he survives the cold snap and possible snow, he will be a lucky worm.
Here’s the NE section of the potager interior border pictured earlier. It is closest to the Lady Cottage and the seating area, so it will be filled with flowers, but the other five sections will have lots of vegetables added to the existing perennials rather than annual flowers, and there may be some veggies going into the existing flower beds beyond the potager and around the house.
This is my first decision to adapt. I’m sure there will be many, many more to come. What “adapting” are you planning, or already doing?