yesterday was one of those perfect spring days. mid-60s, sunny, big puffy white clouds, flowers everywhere and a steady, drenching rainstorm all night. i spent all day outside.
in the morning i rode my bike to the first saturday market of the year. it was a little tricky, lots of flooded areas because of the crazy high river.
the market wasn’t as crowded as i expected, but maybe that’s because it’s so huge now...they keep shutting down more blocks and spreading farther and farther.
i mainly came for the seed swap...
i scored fennel, mountain spinach, french sorrel, purple sprouting broccoli and “idaho blue corn”: sweet corn that started as “black aztec,” and the gardener has been growing it here and saving its seed for 33 years.
at the last seed swap in february i forgot to take one of these peppers, but i snagged one yesterday. they’re “choriceros,” from basque country, and the person who brought them here 50 years ago has been growing them every year since. here’s a photo of him with his peppers.
i stopped by to visit with mike, one of the wood artists i profiled, and he gave me this fabulous maple spatula. i’ve already used it three or four times.
on the way back i stopped at tully’s to see some of amber’s awesome metal sculptures.
later in the day i hiked around in the foothills for a while. i was shocked at how lush everything looks already. currant bushes in bloom everywhere! last year i messed up, i didn’t start looking for currants until late july when they actually ripen in early june. this year i’ve already located hundreds of bushes and i’m ready to pounce on them the second they’re ripe.
here’s where i’m working now:
and here’s the view out the window behind my desk...in some of the rooms you can hear the rushing water:
i keep wanting to write a big long post about all the interesting stuff i’m being exposed to lately, but everything i try to write comes out sounding lame. here’s a brief, somewhat-lame rundown: w.s. merwin (current u.s. poet laureate) is visiting in just over a week, so i’ve been reading some of his work in preparation, and for the most part i love it. i’ve also read a lot about him and his incredible conservation work in hawaii.
there’s a good bit of down-time when i’m not answering phones or editing or whatever thing i’m doing, so i stay busy reading work-related stuff: local authors and visiting writers. right now i’m reading tony doerr’s “the shell collector,” the most amazing book of short stories ever written. i first read just the story “the shell collector” while lounging in a pool in belize--it’s included in a collection of beach-themed stories in this wonderful waterproof book:
and after that i meant to read everything he’d ever written, but i’ve been on this crazy nonfiction kick for so long, i never got around to it until now.
quick garden update: i planted beets 4/11; favas up 4/14 and 4/15:
carrots started sprouting 4/16, chard up 4/17, and little borage sprouts that reseeded themselves from last year have been coming up all week. most of them chose good locations.
i pretty much gave up on the mȃche ever sprouting (it’s been almost a month since i planted it), so earlier today i started planting sorrel right on top of it...then, like magic, mȃchelets appear. i think it’ll be fine if they intermingle.
first ripe strawberry today!
chives and oregano look nice and healthy...i already harvested a big chunk of the chives:
i got a couple rubber snakes to keep birds away from two of the salad beds:
i’m trying to avoid having to cover everything in netting like i did last year. jeanne used rubber snakes last year and she told me they worked on birds but not squirrels, which is fine with me, i only have one bed that’s bothered by squirrels and it’s not a big deal to net that one.
yumm, lettuces. i’ve been tempted to make my first spring salad out of baby kale, dandelion leaves and violas but i don’t think that combination would taste great. those are all accents. i need a good lettuce or spinach base.