The asparagus we stopped picking 5 days ago is hurtling towards the sky and embracing the sun.  Picking the shoots is a human twist on its life cycle, it wants to grow up and become a solar collecting fern. That is how it stores energy in its roots for next spring’s burst of life.

We pick the new shoots for 6-8 weeks (once established), basically until we see the shoots getting smaller and woody. Then we have to let it go or we will have nothing next spring.

We are still eating it, thanks to the use of the demoniac local agriculture slaying refrigerator, which is good because the peas aren’t really cranked up yet.  We have picked the first of the early peas but due to poor germination and lingering cool spring there will be a slight gap between the asparagus and the peas, from the perspective of having as many as we want.

What we shoot for is asparagus in the beginning of April, then peas, then the beans come in and carry through the summer so we have a good supply of  hearty green veggies throughout the growing season. Lettuce and spinach are nice but not what I consider hearty, more of a healthy filler.

When using hot caps to get tender things off to an early start, I keep a wire basket with all the lids in it in the garden so if frost threatens I can put them on.  A strong wind came through, remnants  of one of those tornado producing systems in the Midwest, and blew it into a newly planted  basil plant. I was short on hot caps so although most of the basil was covered, this was the only one that wasn’t and it sustained some damage, see the broken stem.

The leaves didn’t wilt so even though I had some backup plants for a replacement (standard operating procedure, we have extras of what we transplant so in case one doesn’t make it we can replace) I let it go just to watch it. All my logical faculties were telling me it was too broken to survive, and it might not yet, and to insure exposure of all the tomato plants to basil I really should replace it but a week has gone by and I still haven’t.

It seems to be beating the odds even forming new leaves above the break. It is just something interesting to watch in the garden. If one is sensitive enough to mode of goodness type pleasures, not completely jaded by the  sensory overload of omnipresent consumer society, there is always something to pique your curiosity.

I guess the lesson is don’t give up on relationships just because they superficially appear to be broken.

My early tomato is blooming. Always nice when the Queen of the garden decides to bless us and the goal of fresh tomatoes with real flavor  by 4th of July seems to be on track.

Of course, there is a 90 year old gardener near St. Clairsville who is already picking fresh garden tomatoes but I assume he used a warm greenhouse. The 4th is about the best we can do without a heated greenhouse.

Speaking of the Queen, the King has also made an appearance.

Prabhupada referred to the potato as the King of vegetables because it could be prepared so many different ways.

The bed we had selected for potatoes was worked and tossed up into raised beds last fall, but it never got dry enough to till this spring. I went through it with a broad fork so the roots will have some channels to follow, but I couldn’t really plant the seed potatoes as deep as they should have been so I just tucked them in the soil and covered the bed with hay.

As it turned out, the seed would have probably rotted in the ground, given the cold wet spring we had, and it remains to be seen if some don’t any way, but at least a few have started to emerge, so hopefully the rest won’t be far behind.

I do have some shriveled and heavily sprouted seed potatoes left in the root cellar so worse comes to worst, I will replant.  Here the times to plant potatoes is March/April and then again in June, so hopefully we will be okay.

Today is mulching time in the garden so I better get to getting it.

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