|“Our minds are like our stomachs; they are whetted by the change of their food, and variety supplies both with fresh appetites.”
Marcus Fabius Quintillian
Finally wednesday the sun came out. We have had a good two weeks of cold wet weather. Nothing to compare to the mid-West and their tornadoes. But bad enough to seriously impede my gardening chores. While I did get my peas in a couple of weeks back and they are straining to reach the trellis already, I just planted our potatoes yesterday, along with some brussel sprouts, cauliflower and celeriac. Then today I got in a row each of carrots, beets and bush beans, and planted the whole plot of shell beans (Marfax, Canellini and Taylors Horticultural).
In past years I have started seeds indoors. This winter there was just too much going on for me to focus on the impending garden, so no seeds were started. Therefore when planting season arrived I was at the mercy of others. How lucky we are to live in an area where there are so many farmers who sell at the market. Last Saturday, during an uncharacteristic break in the rain, we loaded up on seedlings: chard; celeriac; brussel sprouts; parsley; cauliflower; and even some more snap peas to fill in some gaps where germination didn’t happen. Thanks to Black Kettle Farm, Rippling Waters Farm and Kennebec Flower Farm our garden will happen this year. After much sweat equity over the past two days, while fighting a spring cold, we now have the garden three quarters planted. Whew. I’ve set the calendar on my iPhone to remind me to plant another row of carrots and beets next week. And then in another week or two I will plant tomato and eggplant seedlings (which I will again buy at the Farmers Market), and then direct seed the cucumbers and zucchini. Then we’ll be in business. That is if the good weather holds up. On to the flowers…..
Thank you to all the folks who came out for the sale. It was a great success. We lightened our load considerably. Staying alive as a book store in this economy, in this market, is a challenge. One that we work with every day. The more times we see you come across our door the healthier our business is. Please remember that shopping local is good for all of us, all of the time. Just as you patronize your farmers to keep them around you patronize your retailers for the same reasons.
While the store is quieter this time of year (and just to remind you, current store hours are posted on the sidebar) we still have new books as they come out. From Phaidon, who brought us The Silver Spoon, come two big cookbooks: Vegetables From an Italian Garden and Tuscany. The University of Chicago has just published a beautiful book on mushrooms, The Book of Fungi, with 656 pages of fungi from around the globe. We are stocked up on foraging books, if that’s your bent. And then there are the Rabelais classics, books that we would carry come hell or high water. So while it is quiet, Rabelais is humming along. Come visit when you need a break from the garden. Your back will thank you.