Monday, March 9, 2009

Tabula Rasa

A blank slate -- that's what the garden is just now. Freshly tilled box beds that will eventually overflow (thinking positively here) with slim green trellised cucumbers, shiny deep purple eggplants, Brussels sprouts, collards, kale, rainbow chard, broccoli, peppers, sweet and hot -- no, that all won't fit in these few boxes -- but there are six more tiers in the garden . . .

The banties' chicken tractor has been moved to sit atop the asparagus bed for a few weeks -- just until the first green spears break through. We hope that the biddies will eat the eggs or larvae of the asparagus beetles that have plagued us the past few years. We know they'll fertilize the soil.

It's really fun, having the banties right there. They are curious and companionable little creatures and I enjoy watching them scratch around in the great piles of fresh green chickweed and henbit that I pulled out of the beds, preparatory to John's tilling them.

The spring time energy I spoke of in yesterday's post is flowing! Crocuses are blooming along with the earliest of daffodils and I planted a few red onion sets, along with some romaine lettuce -- seed left over from last year so it may or may not do. But rain is predicted and I just wanted something in the ground!

The unpromising looking stuff in the picture below is horseradish -- another welcome sign of coming Spring.
Posted by Picasa


Victoria said...

Vicki, your banties brought back memories of my childhood. My Mama kept banties and I was allowed to pick out one to have for my very own. I named her Ruby. She was the sweetest little thing and would sit on my lap for the longest time.

Vicki Lane said...

Hey, Victoria! They're pretty adorable all right! I'd love to let them out but with our dogs and cats, not to mention all the wild things around, it's just not an option. Fortunately, they seem very happy in their little chicken condo.

And their little eggs are also really precious! I hardboiled some and served them sliced in half to accompany a curry. Too cute!

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Vicki, our leftover seeds always work, so likely yours will, too. We planted leftover lettuce seeds today, along with broccoli and cabbage sets. Now we're thinking about ordering some purple asparagus! I'd really like to try Tuscan Kale. Also Red russian kale. Have you tried them?

Vicki Lane said...

Hey, Kay,

I have a few purple asparagus plants that I can rarely bring myself to cut because they're so pretty in the garden.

re Tuscan Kale -- I think I grew it one year but don't remember if I thought it was any better than old ordinary kale -- that could have been the year I was less than diligent about spraying with BT and so got no kale.

Trip to the nursery today -- I'll be setting out cole crop starts tomorrow!

Reader Wil said...

So banties are chicken? Very nice post! The first photo looks like a very beautiful spot even if it's still a tabula rasa.Thanks for your visit.

Vicki Lane said...

Hello, Reader Wil,

Yes, banty (banties) is an abbreviation for bantam chickens. They are less than half the size of ordinary chickens and more than twice as cute.

After reading a recent post on your blog, I had to go to the dictionary and now I know what a POLDER is! I actually walked through some when I visited Nederlands back in 1969.