Friday, April 08, 2011

Spring Spinach

Friday, April 8, 2011

17° here on the mountain and clear as a bell. The only wind this morning is from the wings of flock after flock of birds arriving and leaving the feeders. I am enjoying the movement and the voices I can hear through my office window but I realize that very soon the feeding will have to end. We share Vermont with black bears and raccoons and within a couple weeks, both animals will be wide awake and searching for food. By Monday it is supposed to reach 65° and despite the deep snow in the forests, the bears will all be awake. We have already seen raccoons and although they have not arrived at the feeders yet, it's an "anyday" experience. The Department of Wildlife has already put out reminders to stop feeding birds, hoping of course that people will listen and problems, complaints and tickets involving bears can be avoided. In Vermont, feeding bears and then calling in complaints about their behavior will get you a headache and a ticket.

Seeds don't germinate outside when it's 17° but that doesn't mean that I don't think about one of my favorite spring vegetables, spinach. I broke down and bought some the other day---''$5.99 for one of those terrible clear plastic, Ft Knox boxes you cannot easily get into. It was baby spinach and ever so tasty, but really just a teaser.

As I booted up this morning, my email contained the latest blog from High Mowing Organic Seeds and the lead article was about spinach. I really like High Mowing and today's piece on spinach includes a section on diseases and the pesky spinach leaf miner too. If you enjoy vegetables, consider signing up for their blog and their newsletter and get back to their website once in a while. Two spinach they sell that I really like are Corvair and Samish. Try them! High Mowing maintains friendships with all the organic growers including my other favorite, Johnny's Selected Seeds. Johnny's sent a notice today on items they have in big supply and they offered another spinach favorite, Space. This one was overwintered at High Mowing and Gail and I ate some fresh from the high tunnel a few weeks back. Great flavor!

So as snow is still too deep here to consider anything, think about spinach if your ground is open and you want a nice vegetable crop that's easy to grow and good to eat. In salads is fine, stir fried in olive oil with a few other vegetables is quick and easy and included in a quiche with farm fresh eggs like Gail did yesterday--can't beat it!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the Davey Tree Expert Company crew has been clearing our power lines for well over an hour. A very good company if you need some serious tree work done!

George Africa
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