Some (don’t) like it hot

Up here in the North Country, the hard-to-grow warm season crops get all the oohs and aahs. Can you grow okra? Or artichokes? (If you can, tell me how you do it.) Sweet potatoes are a recent triumph for some local farms. I know one gardener who grew peanuts in the Adirondacks, although I never saw the harvest. It’s not easy to grow these temperamental veggies, and it’s ok to brag a little when you succeed.

But these days I feel a certain affinity with the stalwarts of the garden, the cool weather crops. They reward my eagerness to get into the garden with rosettes of tender greens – lettuce and arugula; spinach, kale and chard. ┬áSpring radishes, planted and harvested within a month, hide a sweetness behind the mustard-y bite that isn’t found in later plantings. Like me, asparagus and rhubarb wait patiently through the winter for the great unfreezing.

"Red Salad Bowl" and onions under row cover

"Red Salad Bowl" and onions under row cover

A bonus to growing the early spring greens is that most of the planting can be done, if you’re quick about it, before the blackflies emerge. Sure, they’ll be there when you harvest but it only takes five minutes with a scissors to cut a bowl of lettuce on a June evening.

What’s coming up in your garden? Send me your photos, or post them on the facebook page.

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