A gift from a friend, and some forks, brings a whole bed together

I’m starting to see a particular bed come together, and it’s been nearly a month’s work, but well worth it.

The origins of this bed go back to November, when I received a gift from a holiday exchange with some friends. The gift itself while hilarious wasn’t remotely garden related, but the card was.

I’d gotten seed cards before, but never planted them. Usually because I’d get them at my summer birthday and already had everything mostly in place by then. By the time next spring came around, if I could remember I had a card with seeds- it had either ended up in the compost or disappeared to the void that appears only when you have a greeting card you want to save.

I’m experimenting with more flowers this year, both for pollination and bad bug dissuasion, and also because flowers are pretty. So I figured I could rip up the card and interplant it with some veggies this year.

I’d already weeded and enriched the bed, as well as rescued some old agastache that had survived the winter. I also had started some pole beans in the new greenhouse, and put the last of my violas in the back. So I ripped up the card and sowed it, and then planted some kale. It all looked great, at first.

I was not to know, but the forks were not enough.

Those little pole beans in the back are now dead, because some local cats decided to dig them up and use their remains as a litter box. After re-forking the area heavily and straw mulching it, I replanted the beans by seed and hopefully they’ll get to live and not be shat upon.

It may be some more time before the wildflowers come up- but the kale is very happy at least!

I’m glad, since my kale history has been checkered and bleak some years. Besides the ever present grey aphid scourge, I’ve always been a tich of a hater when it comes to the popularity of lacinato or dinosaur kale, mostly because I’m so used to trendy veggies being a pain in the ass to grow, or somehow utterly unsuitable to our unique climate. That and I love collard greens. Also for a good decade here in San Francisco everyone and their mother has had an inedible raw kale salad on a menu.

Look. Kale needs to be cooked, or essentially cooked in acid or salt. Just chopping up kale leaves and dressing it is a good way to waste good salad dressing. If it’s gonna be raw you have to LITERALLY massage the greens in salt or vinegar or BOTH before you then dress it. I’d personally chop it up and put it in a bag and then put in several heavy pinches of salt and your favorite vinegar and hand knead it for several minutes before letting it rest for an hour before dressing it. If you don’t do that- it’s gonna be a chewy dense mess that you can barely digest, and not only will you regret eating it as you eat it- a few hours later your lower intestines will make you regret eating it.

I digress, but seriously- cook your kale in either heat or acid/salt. If you do that it will be freaking delicious, and I have come around to it’s utility in the garden and kitchen.

(I’m still gonna grow collards of course. Collard greens, best greens amirite?)

Anyways, only now, in April are the new beans sprouting. I found an old packet of purple pole beans, and sowed them in desperation, when I saw the ruined wreck of my old pole beans. Thankfully, they seem to have all sprouted, thanks to the warming temperatures.

Also thanks to the addition of a dozen more forks. Because fork those cats.

2 thoughts on “A gift from a friend, and some forks, brings a whole bed together

  1. Kale is such a weird fad. I disliked the fad from the beginning. Well, I dislike fads anyway, and that one seems exceptionally weird. I do not totally dislike kale. I just prefer other related greens, such as collards. I mean, why would anyone want kale instead of collards! If I could, I would grow cabbage. Anyway, the dinosaur kale is yucky and unsightly. I get better greens by pulling weeds! Seriously, the wild turnip greens and mustard are just fine, and I do not need to grow them.

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