I never cease to be amazed that plants – plants I can eventually eat – come up in the spring. Right out of the ground! Every year! The little green shoots poke through the soil, and it’s mind-bending, every time.
Last fall, we planted garlic. We bought a bunch of bulbs of it at the supermarket, broke them into cloves, and put each clove, shoot side up, in a little hole in the ground. We sprinkled a little bone meal into each hole, filled them in, and went about our winter business. Now what are the odds that those cloves would survive the winter and start the process of turning themselves into actual garlic in the spring?
Strange as it seems, that’s exactly what they did. This week, we got our first garlic shoots.
Even stranger is the mint. You don’t even have to plant it every year. Do it once, and the stuff just comes up, unbidden, some time in mid-March, year after year.
Thanks to the magic of the cold frame, our lettuce sprouts are now tall enough to be thinned, and Kevin’s makeshift greenhouse is housing our first arugula shoots. That tiny little seeds, no bigger than a pinhead, have all the necessary equipment to become big, green, and leafy is a miracle of miniaturization.
The dandelions, though, put all our cultivated plants to shame. They’re the swaggering show-offs from across the tracks, with full-blown leaves already. I’ll have the last laugh, though. If the dandelions had the good sense to wait until the arugula was ready, they wouldn’t find themselves in risotto.