Monthly Archives: June 2011

Fall work in spring: Let the earthworms do it!

I'm not sure where I first heard that line about letting the earthworms do your digging for you, but I'm putting it to the test this year. It's part of my effort to get away from digging in amendments every year, which is hard on the worms (they have permanent tunnels) and can even be hard on soil structure. Besides, it's too much damn work!

This year, I've got another excuse: no time. My shoulder injury last autumn meant that I barely managed to finish the harvest. As for cleaning up plots, laying down compost, prepping new plots—forget it. None of that happened.

Which means that all of that was left for spring. Which, as most of you know, has its own task list.

Now, some people faced with a particularly steep challenge will leap into action.

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Basement garden harvest: the rudest carrot

Rudest carrot

This may be the rudest, crudest vegetable I've grown. It's flagrantly suggestive in rather obvious ways, but even if you manage to look past those, it looks to me like a carrot giving the finger to—what? The other carrots? The spinach?

Perhaps when it writes its memoir, The Secret Life of Carrots, we'll find out.

The real point here is that I picked it on February 15th from my basement garden, which even now remains my only source for fresh vegetables such as those in last Sunday's omelet.

Yes, I know; some of you down south are probably almost ready to harvest your first spring carrots, and your chard may be ready to bolt. But things are different here in the north, especially this year. We are flirting with spring—or it with us—but no commitment has been made. You couldn't say that there's an actual relationship here.

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