Overlook.

Too small to see yet are the Red Russian Kale, Lacinto, and carrot sprouts. The spinach is hiding to the right of the post.

Freshly compost mulched and watered: the bigger cabbages, broccoli, Brussels, rutabaga, and some peas not perpetually topped by the rabbits.

It was a glorious weekend and this garden visit capped it off nicely.

Little deaths and happy days.

Not those kind of little deaths.

These kind.

From thinking in my foggy ill-again head that leaving the plastic cover on, outside on the sunny porch, would save moisture. It did. It cooked them in a hot sauna.

Oops.

A setback of a few weeks I’ll foggily attempt to start anew tomorrow.

And these.

I’ve been trying sprouted grains and seeds to see how much I can get grains back into my life. The first few rounds were deliciously successful. These pumpkin seeds, and their other flora counterparts, were destined for not-granola granola bars. They ended in the compost this morning after my Does Not Smell Bad Smells Nose nudged my mouth to ask, “hey honey, does this smell like rot to you?”

Retrying those will have to wait for another trip to the store that has the bulk section.

But in happy news, this came today (or at least, I received it today as we are both lackadaisical about checking the mailbox.)

Also in happy news, it was gorgeous outside. And I had two eager little soccer kickers to play with me.

Ack!

The most rare helper of mine thought to play in the water she had asked to put on the peas. Soaked and turning hues of blues, we packed up our tools, turned off the hoses, and…

Ack! What is wrong with my cabbage?! What on earth is happening to that leaf in the middle? From farther away I’d seen the dark spots and thought the harlequin beetles were back. A little closer and no…

Just a sick little leaf from a far off tree.

Harlequin Neighbors.

There are some downsides to plots in a community garden. There are some upsides.

Taking a walk about for a stretch after a lot of weeding and we come upon this party.

I grabbed a container, captured as many as I could, and when drowning them without soap was futile, dumped them on some rocks to then squash.

I had seen one lonesome one on a cabbage of mine the previous week. After disposing of it and checking for eggs, I’d wondered where the rest were…

I can eat that.

The henbit has been loving this weather. It also has been possibly choking out the brassicae sprouts. But also possibly hiding them from the nibbling critters.

I hedged my bets on preventing choking and risking chomps. We’ll see…

The leeks from Dixondale Farms finally found their earthen homes. All ~120 of them. At least they freeze well.

This was the fingerling potato bed. After digging the whole way over it was discovered that the ~12 we buried grew into…3. Too many freezes without cover took them out. So those three are saved for a few weeks when it’s time to try another sowing.

In tomato and pepper (and flower!) news: I, of course, checked for sprouts again this morning. We’re still about five days from the earliest realistic possible growth. I did borrow the instant read thermometer from the kitchen to check the heating pad transference to the soil. 75 degrees F was the goal and exactly where it was. Huzzah!

Over here, the cabbage is happier than the henbit – hooray!

Behind.

I think I’ve felt behind on this every year since the first year.

Tomatoes and peppers of varieties that the nursery will have no backups for. These sprout and thrive or we don’t have them.

An early eager helper turned bored companion quickly yesterday. It’s tricky to enjoy this winter ritual when being harped upon to play something more fun. This is play for me, but work for her.

And then a nap ended and out emerged a bewildered boy. An eager helper beside me once more, who found Papa’s favored pepper seeds that I had overlooked. Peace, for a moment or twelve.

And then his way awoke. Seeds pressed down nearly an inch into the soil, coaxed back to the top, boiled an eruption to the surface within him and I was once again with irritated companions of proximity.

There’s a wiring in her that won’t likely loosen on enjoying plant chores. She has it as deeply set for enjoying the care of animals.

There’s an opposing wiring in him, as there oddly often is, to decline playing dinosaurs with her to help me plant, provided My Way doesn’t over exert itself.

And so I will learn to give more give in my plans, build in cushions of time and space where needs be, so my worry about the impossibility of backups doesn’t tarnish, or simply crumble, the enjoyment of the season.

(And yes, I did check the seed tray first thing this morning to see if any miraculously fast sprouting had occurred overnight. It never has and yet I always check.)