The enormity of the news from Japan is overwhelming. The scale of the quake and the power of the waves is beyond what I can comprehend. Wishing I knew how to cool a nuclear reactor, I’ve retreated to my garden to spend time with the small, good things I can see there. They feel fragile and precious and I want to see them and share them before they are gone.
#1. The ‘Green Beauty’ snow peas have grown almost three-feet tall and are just starting to bloom with velvety bright-pink flowers.
#2. The new compost pile is already cooking. If you press your hand against the outside of the pile you can feel the warmth inside.
#3. The ‘Banana Fingerling’ potato plant made dozens of perfect little potatoes before the frost got it. I discovered them as I was tipping the potato bag soil onto the compost pile and recovered them and added them to a pot roast.
#4. Each one of the newly planted ‘Norkotah’ potatoes for this spring are already sprouting in their bags.
#5. The ‘Broad Winsor’ favas have actually made beans! Of course, I didn’t discover them until after I had complained to my mother-in-law that my favas had no beans. Some of them are so large that now I need to find out when to pick a fava bean and how to eat one.
#6. The sauerkraut I made out of savoy and ‘Stonehead’ cabbage, ‘Danvers Half-Long’ carrots, apples, onions and cumin seeds is silently bubbling on the counter and actually smells slightly sauerkrauty.
#7. The stick, literally, of ‘Pakistan’ mulberry that I brought home from a grafting class and stuck into the ground has an actual growth, bud, thing that shows life, on the side of it.
#8. The sad, scrawny ‘Thompson’ grape vines that were hating me for trying to grow them in pots last summer aren’t dead. They are in the ground now and both have buds forming at every available end-point.
#9. The slugs didn’t decimate the last patch of ‘Sugar Daddy’ peas. They were hiding out under straw and have made it to the point where they each have several leaves before anything found them and chewed them to nubs.
#10. I pulled and ate the first ‘Yellowstone’ carrot of the season and it was every bit as bright and crisp and delicious as I remembered them.
It may not solve natural disasters, but my garden is a refuge and I’m glad to be able to share it with you.