Thursday, January 15, 2009

garden, birds, weather, life

The broccoli I brought inside in November didn't handle the transition very well, and it crumbled up and died after about two weeks, but the cabbage I brought in in October not only has survived but has become beautiful. I don't think it'll ever be edible/tasty, since it's still not quite forming heads (some of them are slightly more head-like than the one pictured here, but the leaves are still very loosely arranged and are very thick and stout). And even so--they're so pretty now I don't think I could eat them.

I also have a pot of parsley that is still robust and strong, and I used some in potato soup earlier this week. Last year I overwintered a pot of parsley, too, and it eventually died just as the fresh pot I planted in the spring was ready to harvest, so that worked out perfectly. Next year I really want to grow more herbs and try to overwinter them, since it's such a treat to have fresh green things in spite of all the snow and ice and cold.

My geraniums are doing well, too, although I haven't had any flowers since early December. But they're putting out fresh leaves, and I'm not losing as many older leaves as I was in the fall. Oddly, though, almost all the leaves are a solid green, or only have a ghost of the patterning that you normally associate with cultivated geranium foliage. (You can sort of see it in the leaf on the bottom-most right in the picture.) I have one pot in a south facing window, and one in a west facing window, so they're both getting plenty of light, so I'm not sure what the deal is.

Outside it is bitterly cold, seventeen below zero when I woke up this morning, and with a fierce, strong, terrible wind. In the yard there was one redpoll, one junco, and two or three chickadees cruising for seeds. Since it's warmed up to nine below, there has also been starlings and pigeons, a downy woodpecker, and more chickadees and juncos. There's still the fierce, strong, terrible wind, and according to the internet the current windchill is negative twenty seven. All the feeders in the yard are mostly full, and I'll put more seed out on the ground when I leave for work.

To remind myself of summer, today for breakfast I had pancakes with chokecherry syrup. Food becomes more precious when you make it yourself from scratch, all the way from gathering or growing it. Chokecherries are very, very common, almost to the point of being weedy, but there is still a limited amount of them, and even more limited is the amount of berries that any one person should gather . I made a ton of chokecherry syrup last fall, enough to give some away and still have plenty left for myself, but it'll be about another seven months from now until I can make any more syrup (or jam--I want to make chokecherry jam next year). And to have gone out walking, found the cherry trees, picked a big sack ful and carried it home, then cleaned them and cooked them down and made the syrup, and then to have some of that bottled summertime in the fridge in Janurary... it feels luscious and sacred. I am not above licking the plate clean.

1 comment:

Leon Basin said...

Hey, how are you doing? Hope all is well.