Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Farmboy Racer

This Sunday I raced down to the beach farm in the hours before the studio where I needed to polish up my entry into the pinewood derby. The weather was brilliant, the weeds were abundant, and the lady who kept taking the pavers back last year was there yackin it up, and leaving, again, this time permanently. I was rushing about, weeding half-handedly, stepping on tiny leeks.

The lettuce were large enough for me to pull a few out and clip some others for our first greens of the season. I had lengthy thoughts about the human selection (as opposed to natural selection) of weeds, unintended as it may always be, to closely resemble desirable plants when young, and grow well at the base of desirable plants. It comes down to that, doesn't it? One hundred thousand years of weeding created the successful weeds we have today simply because the successful ones are the ones we missed year after year.

The greens were plucked, snipped, de-rooted, washed triply, spun, and placed in a bowl at dinner. We ate them with our fingers, ungarnished. They were the best damn greens I've had in years. Those clear clamshell greens have nothing to do with taste, nothing. In fact, a recent package I bought was filled with aphids. Others always have rotting reds, or rotting in general, which I hate to find, because, as far as I am concerned, rot ruins my appetite for salad.

It is exceptionally difficult to get a good shot under a fabric cover pinned to the ground. 

But look at that growth in two weeks. The weeds too, so difficult to pull that I needed to make swiping motions with my hand, scraping at the dirt. I wanted to lift the tents so that the broccoli could be exposed to the cooler air, but then I remembered the moths, and left the protection in place.

Yet this is all that remains of the broccoli I planted without a row cover. Two small standing plants, and all the others shriveled and out of the ground. But why -human, animal, insect, earthly elements? I don't think I'll ever know.

I'm expecting scapes in the coming two weeks. Can't wait.

And there's movement in the snap peas!

I could not resist snapping a leaf and tendril to taste as I worked. I snipped a few more for the bowl of greens -the sweet pea flavor to set off the slight bitterness of the greens. First bites of the growing season must be raw, without adulteration.

 I completely forgot about this -the bike tour. 

You should have seen the backup of cars behind this backup of bikes. Yikes. Thankfully, it was on the other side and I was able to make it to Greenpoint the fastest way just in time for racer check-in.

It's all a little silly, but my first derby proves to be a winner. That's my car on the far left.


  1. Sweet car! Your garden looks lush. My broccoli survives without cover. I took the plexi off when there was prediction of 80 degree weather a few weeks ago. So far, so good, but you never know until you harvest.

  2. Jeepers! So did yours have little lead weight under its hood :-)?

  3. I was a lightweight in field of top heavyweights.

    Engineering won the day ;)


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