I've been remiss in chronicling our garden's progress these last few weeks. Here's what you've missed....
When our seedlings outgrew the tiny cells in their big grid, Bill painstakingly transplanted them into slightly larger pots, and they flourished in our kitchen window seat for a couple more weeks.
In mid-April, we finally transferred them into the little garden plot in the corner of our backyard. It was an idyllic day with warm sunlight and a gentle breeze that felt like God playing with my hair. Just across the fence, the neighbors were playing soft, summery music by the pool--something by Eric Clapton, I think. The music had that dreamy, echoey quality that reminds me of drifting in the lake on a float, hovering on the edge of sleep.
Unlike last year, I decided to go ahead and get my hands dirty. I was surprised at how satisfying it was to plunge my hands into the moist, clumpy earth. Working alongside Bill and Allyson, I tenderly cradled the green bean seedlings, easing them into the shallow indentations Allyson had made and mounding dirt around them. (Ethan had long since lost interest; he was lurking in the front yard watching the girls who'd gathered across the street.)
We planted pumpkins, carrots, green beans, summer squash, bell peppers, cantaloupes--they did finally sprout--and lots of tomatoes.
It's been a couple of weeks, and all the veggies look happy. On Sunday, we had our first harvest: seven utterly perfect green beans.
Allyson and my nephew Sam got to pick them, and I steamed them along with a big batch of green beans that we'd gotten from the co-op.
Just as I remembered from last year, our beans had a luxuriant downy feel, and we thought they were just a hint more crisp to the bite than the beans we'd bought. I served all of them with a touch of real butter and freshly chopped dill from my hanging baskets, which Bill planted for me a couple weeks ago.
My sister Emily and her family came out to pick up Sam, and they stayed for dinner (cabbage rolls, my first!). I was afraid I'd made too many green beans, but we made short work of them. Sam kept begging for more the way Allyson begs for candy.
We were grateful for our tiny harvest, and we're optimistic that there's more to come. The tallest tomato plant has eight yellow blossoms, and I'm checking each morning for those first tomatoes. Maybe I'll actually get to make my own sauce this year!