Thursday, June 21, 2012

Too Hot in the Garden

Today the smart gardener was  in the garden early.  Ed was up by 4 am and spent the early hours carrying water to the dust dry plants.  The Stone Wall garden is a full sun garden and with the heat index today over 100 degrees, morning was the time to be out there.  Dawn sunlight filtering through newly opened smoke bush blossoms created a beautiful scene but the heat soon drove us inside.

Early morning is also the time to pick the peas.  We love edible pod peas.  Four 12 foot rows in the garden were dedicated to them.  I have one special favorite recipe, Sesame Baked Tofu with Snow Peas and Almonds from The Moosewood Garden Cookbook.  The freshly picked peas spent the day in the refrigerator.  As dinner time approached a thirty second dip in boiling water was followed by immersion in ice water.  Bright green and crispy pods add snappy taste and bright color to a delicious meal.

Most years this bowl is filled to the top every time I make this summer favorite and usually I make it often.  This year only about 16 plants survived in our first planting of peas.  Sadly  this is our edible pod pea harvest.  Maybe it was the seed.  I tried a new company.  Peas are somewhat fussy about their growing conditions.  It would be easy to blame our poor harvest on the weather but the shell peas planted on the other side of the chicken wire at the same time have topped the four foot fence and are loaded with peas.  Our second planting of Oregon Giants did no better than the first.  It is likely that we will return to Stokes as the source for our pea seeds next year.  Looking past the disappointment of today while planning for next year's success seems to typify the spirit of a gardener.

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