Sunset

Our little spring garden is ready for showtime--in other words, lunch.

Yesterday morning, Johanna got down on her heels in the garden (our spring crops are very short) and clipped mesclun and a whole mess of herbs, yanked up green onions, and pulled three colors of beets and some carrots and baby radishes for Team Kitchen to cook with. The crooked carrot, which you can see it in the basket above, got that way because it had to grow around a rock. That's why you want nice, loose, fluffy soil: so you can have nice, straight carrots.

Not pictured here: the favas (which got ripe all at once a few weeks ago, as they tend to do, and so had to be harvested) and the strawberries, regular and tiny Alpine, which are growing separately in planter boxes. There are bunches of herbs here, too, but they're hiding under the lettuce.

I sat at the kitchen table with a bowl of water for swishing and a knife for root-trimming, and chomped warm vegetables from the basket. Everything was sweet and juicy, especially--surprisingly--the green onions; they had only a hint of heat sneaking in toward the end of the chew. Even the over-large mesclun had managed not to get bitter or leathery, as overgrown lettuce is prone to do. And the chervil, although slightly scorched (it's a delicate little frilly herb) had a clean, good flavor, like a refreshing licorice candy.

The only disappointment was the Russian tarragon (Artemisia dracunculoides), which we accidentally planted instead of lovely and sophisticated French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)--they're really hard to tell apart. At first it tasted like nothing at all, and then it tasted like pine tar. Well, we just won't use it. Luckily we have plenty of other herbs to choose from.

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