Peas, Nettles, Spinach

Put on my muck boots to go out and check on things at the farm early this afternoon.  The spinach is looking a little stressed (the first bed planted, anyhow), but it should survive.  As hardy as it is, it’s hard to take the extended cold snaps we’ve been having over the last couple of weeks.

Dug around a little in the straw by the trellises and saw a few of these happy harbingers of spring:

pea-emerging-2009Looks a little like a green goose head, doesn’t it?  But it’s a sugar snap pea plant emerging.

Deer had gotten into the garden again–they didn’t do too much damage other than putting some deep hoofprints in a couple of my beds and snapping one of the electric fence wires.  Hope they got a good shock from that adventure.

Another task in my short visit was to harvest a few wild greens for dinner:

stinging-nettleThese are little stinging nettles emerging in the garden where they shouldn’t be–but if you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em!  I clipped a bunch of their tops off to saute with some spring garlic for supper.  We’ll be digging them all out eventually to make a compost tea, but for now they make a good early vegetable.

Nettles don’t sting once they’re cooked, but harvesting them can be tricky.  You might want to wear gloves, but that tends to make it hard to hold onto their tops when you’re clipping them.  You can minimize the stings you get while harvesting without gloves by grabbing them like you mean it.  Brushing against nettles is what really delivers the stings.

On a final note, I saw my first native pollinator of the season–a bumble bee in the home garden.  She was buzzing around the little group of crocuses looking about as forlorn as a bumble bee can get.  There’s just not much for the bees yet–the dandelions need to come out soon!


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