On Canned Peas

I remember canned peas at our childhood dinner table. They were boiled down to a certain nutrient-free and tasteless grey, but when launched from a fork handle bopped sharply with the heel of your hand, those peas stuck to the kitchen ceiling better than anything but oatmeal.

Beans and asparagus had a harder time of it; they fell apart on both sides of the fork, while only the middle piece gained any altitude. Liver, fried with bacon for an hour or so, stayed in one piece but had no sticking power and bounced back down to be grabbed by (or fed to) the dog.

And so it was.

Now we grow our own peas, the ones in a pod that ripen in June. What a hoot.

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Try this:

For a little fun, harvest some leeks or scallions by cutting them off at the soil line, leaving roots in the ground. These are cold-hardy plants, so leave the roots to over-winter — but mulch deeply with leaves or straw to keep your soil from freezing. Come spring, you should get a new crop from the same roots, which means you don’t have to buy new plants. Heh.

It’s the garden version of a woodsman trick called “coppicing,” whereby you take down a tree for cordwood or whatever, but leave the roots intact. They’ll send up new shoots, and you cut all but one or two off. These will grow at light speed because of the healthy roots below.

Small leeks can also be mulched and over-wintered for a fresh crop of beautiful leeks in spring, when nobody else has them. Keeps you out of the grocery store….

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“I can explain this.”


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The garden from afar


On a better day than this….

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The garden gate

DSCN1415With Tithonia torch and clematis paniculata.

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Tithonia Torch

DSCN1491.jpgOr Mexican Sunflower, an annual. I planted a few on either side of my garden gate last summer, and they grew 6-8 feet tall, full of these flowers. It made an arbor for me to walk under on the way in. They’re still blooming now. Not that this would give you any ideas….


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Spinach planting

Do it now. Trust me. Do it before the first snow, planted any way you like; broadcast atop the soil, buried slightly in rows, it doesn’t matter. Spinach will spend the winter getting ready to burst forth in great profusion in spring. And I mean GREAT profusion. 

By comparison, spinach I sow in spring — no matter how early — does, well, pretty much ahhh. Marginal. 

I don’t have a good photo of spinach because we ate it all. 

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