Spring Harvest 2013

Asparagus

It’s really nice to be able to pick lettuce right outside our back door, along with the arugula coming up in the rocks around the base of the lettuce pot!  But I’m most excited to start harvesting asparagus.  We don’t have a lot of asparagus plants, so when the spears come up, I try to catch them when they’re no taller than 12 inches, and cut them near the ground.  Then I store them in a glass of water in the fridge, until I have enough to use.  Sometimes I cook them, and sometimes I slice the raw spears into thin diagonal slices for salads.  One of the easiest ways to cook asparagus is to toss the spears with extra virgin olive oil (lemon olive oil is even better), lemon zest, salt and pepper, and roast it at 450 for about 15 minutes.

The cardoon has taken over a good part of the lower bed, and is absolutely gorgeous.  I’m harvesting some leaves and making a salad out of the ribs.

I have focused a lot of my energy, this season, into really improving the health of the soil.  My latest addition has been composted chicken manure.  We create a lot of our own good compost, but composted chicken manure is like the Mercedes Benz of the poop world, and since a Benz is not in my budget, I decided on chicken poop!!

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned bone meal this year.  When you plant root crops, bone meal helps any below ground vegetable develop really well.  And whenever I plant anything, I’m continuing to plant legumes near all of the plantings, to fix nitrogen in the soil.