Shades of green

There was an Irish pub called Shades of Green walking (or stumbling, as it happened) distance from one of my first apartments in NYC (I moved a lot). But I will spare you any details of what Guinness and whiskey-sour induced behavior went down on its shadowy premises. I actually shudder when I think back on it all.Image

With that consigned to its proper place in the distant past, here is a look at some of the actual shades of green in the garden today. Everything is enjoying the rain so much; even the cacti are fat with water.

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My mom calls these euphorbia “Shrek ears”. They grow wild everywhere, and there is even a caterpillar to go with them — I’ve noticed a black caterpillar with white spots that only seems to go for those guys. Anyway, there is a glimpse of the “Brown House” and the outdoor kitchen off to the right behind Shrek’s ears.

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There’s only the faintest sign of spring in the asparagus patches, but the artichokes look ready for action.
While I was in the garden today, I realized something. Remember those cauliflower plants that I was complaining about? The ones that were all leaf? Well, we’ve had a bit of warmer weather lately, which sent the brassicas into a panic, and many of them have bolted. I was staring at the “cauliflowers” today when I noticed that one of them was bolting, and it didn’t look like a cauliflower at all, it looked like kale. Then it hit me — I had planted Jersey kale and sea kale in that bed! They are new varieties to me, and to be honest I had completely forgotten about them — I must have planted them out in October. The lower leaves are leather-like, but they will come in handy because Ali is out of town this week, so we won’t be able to let the chickens out in the afternoons the way we usually do. I’ll be going back and forth between the city and the garden to keep everyone fed and watered, and to do some transplanting so I will feed the thick kale leaves to the chickens during the week to keep them from feeling too glum. The tender leaves I picked and made a nice Colcannon for dinner tonight, to celebrate St. Patrick’s day.

In case you have some greens going spare, here’s how I made it:

Cut up some potatoes (I peel mine when they’re not out of the garden) and put them in a pot with water to cover. Then cut up the white parts of a hefty bunch of spring onions and throw those in on top. Cut up your greens (Savoy cabbage is especially nice) and throw those on top of everything then set the pot on the stove to boil and let it cook, covered, until the spuds are ready to mash. Drain the veg, then put it back in the pot. Add milk and butter, salt and pepper and mash it all together. Yum.

I hope you are having a great, green day!