This past weekend blessed us with absolutely glorious weather, and I spent most of Saturday planting stuff. First up: setting up the two new Earthboxes for the tomato plants. That was actually more work than I thought it would be, since each box takes nearly two cubic feet of soil. It was “bend over” work, and my back was worse for the wear by the time it was done. But we now have four tomato plants happily ensconced on our deck, and they appear, at this early date, to be thriving. At the very least they seem to be happy at being released from the confines of our downstairs bathroom.
The next task was planting the herbs in the new 4 x 4 raised bed that Jim built. In the back row I have a lavender seedling flanked by two small mint plants (one spearmint, and another variety called mini mojito — you can see where I’m going with this). In the middle we have dill, rosemary, parsley, and cilantro, and in front we’ve got regular basil and Thai basil. So far things look pretty good — they’re all perky, especially the cilantro, which wasn’t looking to good immediately after being transplanted. We’ll see how it goes. I will be heartbroken if the basil fails to thrive.
It was right around this point that we took a lunch break, which in this case meant a drive down to the Branford River to enjoy our first lobster rolls of the season at The Lobster Shack. They were sublime. The weather was perfect, and we drove there with the top down. Not at all a bad way to kick off the season…
When we got back, it was time to put the vegetables in. This year we swapped yellow squash for last year’s zucchini, and added cucumbers to the mix. There are three varieties of lettuce (romaine, butter crunch, and mesclun), green peppers, habaneros (I have no idea what Jim is planning for these — there are several of them), and one eggplant. I may go back to the garden center to see if there’s any Japanese eggplant, and once the lettuce is gone, we’re contemplating putting in a fall crop of … something.
On the food front, I’ve been making a concerted and largely successful effort to greatly reduce our meat consumption. Like an awful lot of people, we had become accustomed to building nearly all of our dinners around a meat course, with the veggies and salads serving as sides. No more. We’re down to doing that maybe twice a week now, and essentially going vegetarian the rest of the time. I’m really enjoying it so far, and I think Jim is too (at least I’ve heard no complaints). It’s been a fun challenge to plan meals, and the variety is endless. I’ve been doing a lot of ethnic cooking and can’t wait to have some stuff from our own garden to toss into the mix. Last night I made a very good jalapeno-corn pudding — the recipe needs a bit of tinkering, though, and once I have the few bugs ironed out, I’ll post it here.