Except this spring, which—so far—has been perfect. We had a couple of weeks of Seattle-ish weather at the end of the year, cool, cloudy and misty, but early in February the temperatures started to rise and the ubiquitous jarrilla bushes along the roads exploded with their smelly yellow flowers. They were followed by the more elegant blooms of the huizaches which for most of the year are thorny and nasty-looking bushes, the better to keep livestock from munching on them (except for goats, which if hungry enough will eat anything short of barbed wire). Now the huizaches are dressed in frilly green foliage topped with festive yellow buttons.
Gardening firsts this year are asparagus, a bit scrawny but with enough shoots to sauté for a side dish. Along the asparagus Félix has row of about fifteen garlic plants and six shallots, all looking happy and perky yet hardly ready for picking. Two grapevines that we thought dead came back with the warmer temperatures, though who knows which variety the grapes will be.
All the tomatoes we had last year—Black Krim heirloom; Grapes; Early Girl; Brandywine; and a variety called Sun Gold (?) also have germinated and are well along the way. A new variety this year is Cherokee Purple, which also is doing well. There are also two varieties of pimentos, one called Cayenne which sounds ominous.
|Ready to boogie: One of the tomato seedlings.|
Can't keep Mexicans from planting chiles so Félix planted some seeds he covertly saved from last year. We have Anchos; Rojos (tiny fellows that will burn a hole in the roof of your mouth); Habaneros (ditto); Jalapeños: Serranos and Chipotles, all doing great. Last year chiles accumulated on the window sill behind the kitchen sink like small meteorites Stew would not dare touch despite the colorful and informative Cooking with Chiles book I'd bought him. It may be time for a second book.
This year we're growing two separate crops of most everything, one in the raised beds next to the house and the other in the ten-meter-square milpa, or vegetable garden, we have at the edge of the ranch, with its own (primitive) irrigation rig.
|Resurrection: Found abandoned by |
the side of the road, this victim of a car
accident now flourishes.
Among the long-shots are our three olive trees, two Arbequinas (Spanish) and one Mission (from California). They been growing lustily for four years but have produced exactly three olives—one each. This spring the Mission seems to be producing tiny bunches of something: flowers that will later create actual olives? That would be novel.
The two peaches and the apricot tree are loaded with fruit though a small apple and two cherries look as scrawny and unpromising as ever.
What to do with all this stuff coming on line? I have secret plans to buy Félix a card table that we can set up at the Saturday Organic Market in town where we could sell some of our produce, much of it not available in stores. He owes me: despite all his marketing blah-blah he only sold three jars of his honey compared to the twenty-seven we sold to our friends. He'd better start selling, and not just chiles.
|Bonus image: San Miguel cobble stones.|