Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Bits

A couple of years ago, I planted 10 Purple Passion asparagus plants.  Then last year, I planted 10 Mary Washingtons.  I sat on my hands all last summer and watched them grow and fern out and forced myself not to pick any.  (Okay, okay.  I admit it.  I did pick one or two very fat spears to munch right then and there.  I couldn't help myself.)  This spring however, I finally get what I've been waiting for!  The purple asparagus are beautiful and plump and this is their third spring, so we get to start eating some!

As much as I lovelovelove fresh asparagus (and raw!  I never knew how good they are raw!), I discovered a joy of asparagus that may perhaps surpass the flavor-- it's something to pick in the spring before anything else is ready!  While I'm still waiting for my carrots and beans and peas and (especially!) tomatoes, I get to harvest asparagus.  And I don't even have to do anything with it.  It just comes up from the ground and I go out and pick it.  No more planting and waiting.  It's just there.

If you don't have an asparagus patch, get you one!  The work of getting it put in is SO worth it!

Another new thing that I'm excited about is rhubarb.

You would think that living in Michigan, these asparagus and rhubarb would be without needing so much as a mention.  But I haven't had any until now!  And I've been waiting over the last two years, making myself not pick it until it's mature enough.  This spring is sweet!

This beautiful, bright red rhubarb is a plant that I brought from Oregon, where I dug it from the garden of a friend of my Mom.  I just adore the deep color!  And the stalks are huge!  There aren't very many of them this year, so we don't get a big harvest, but it's enough for a few yummy desserts.  The stalks are so huge that it only took two to get enough for my recipe.   I made a pan of my favorite rhubarb bars last night and I can't stay out of it.

Evidently, the red stalks looked so inviting to Jonah that he kept asking me to let him eat one.  I told him he would not want to eat a whole stalk, but he really thought he would. (It's not good for you raw, anyway.)  So when I picked it, I cut a little piece for him to try and his face went into quite a pucker.  I can remember chewing on stalks of it when I was a kid-- it was a sign of toughness or something.

Last year when my Mom was here, she suggested that we border my flower beds with a twig fence.  I thought it was a lovely idea, but there was no way to do it in July with the ground rock hard, and no long, flexible sticks available, anyway.

So this spring, I saved out a big pile of apple shoots that Nathan pruned from the trees.  I've been working on this fence.  I still have a ways to go, but so far I'm really liking the look of it. It's just rustic and cute, even though I messed up the pattern in a few places.

And the other day, I was surprised to notice that my fence is growing leaves!  I'm not sure if that means it rooted, or it's just got enough life left in it for a little growth that will probably go away when it gets hot (I'm guessing the latter).

Nathan dug up several bagfuls of Lilly of the Valley from a friend's house for me to plant in my shady bed at the end of the kitchen.  Lovely stuff, thought I'm skeptical that it will be very happy in my clay-heavy soil.  Time will tell.

I had a very hard time planting it (and should probably have quit, really) because my back has been hurting so bad.  I spent the rest of the day hobbling around, barely able to walk, and had a long soak in the tub after Evan went to bed.  It's not strained muscles --I'm quite accustomed to garden work-- it's this danged pregnant pelvis of mine.  Today, I'm only marginally functional, and it's been that way off and on for weeks.

I'm trying not to despair, but it's hard when I'm facing spending the next 4 1/2 months (the best and busiest of the year) like this.  I had this problem while pregnant with Evan, and here we go again.  I refer to it as "PP#D" -- Pregnancy Pelvic #$*#% Dysfunction.  It's just so frustrating when I have lots to do, and for a limited time only, the energy to do it with, but I can hardly move around.  I will shamefacedly admit that I have avoided going back to the chiropractor right now because I thought it wasn't helping, opting instead for stretching and yoga.  But now I know that while the chiropractic adjustments may not get rid of the pain completely, it does certainly keep it from becoming debilitating.  I'm on the cancellation list at my wonderful chiropractor's office and I can just hope and pray that someone will feel well enough not to need an appointment so that I can have it.

We're still dealing with Evan's digestive issues, but I think I've finally noticed some improvement over the last few days.  Maybe we're on the tail end of this, now.

Lately, he's been squealing and shrieking when he wants more food during a meal.  I started showing him the sign for "more" and saying "more" and then giving him another bite.  He has skipped right over trying to use the sign, and instead says "muh!"  It's completely adorable, and he says it very politely.  Yesterday morning, he was crying on the floor while I got his breakfast ready.  I said, "Evan, are you hungry?  Do you want to eat?" and he immediately stopped crying and started saying, "Muh!  Muh!  Muh!"  Then this morning I laid him in his bed for a nap, but he decided he wasn't ready and sat up and held out his arms to me and said "Muh!"  So I guess "more" is now the word he thinks he should use to get what he wants.

He also says "Mamamamama" and "Dadadada", shakes his head when he doesn't want something, and gives a very appreciative "Num!" when he gets bites of food.  Ahhh, communication!

And I now hear him communicating from his bed that he would like to come back downstairs after his nap, thankyousomuch, so I will end this rambly post and go see to it.


  1. The twig fence looks AWESOME. My apple twigs are only going to go about four feet, but would you come make me one too? And bring that jabbery baby and rhubarb helper with you.

  2. Aaawwhhhh, Even is growing up! Augh! I want to see him right now!

  3. Oh- that fence is beautiful! I love it!
    And I am coming over to eat some fresh asparagus. I like it raw too! ; )