Sunday, May 23, 2010

Last Spinach Harvest

I woke up at 6 am this morning to a warbling vireo and a field of fog outside my window. Last night I just wanted to go to sleep fast so I could wake up and get to Sunday. Like a little kid. I was looking forward to a sunny day in the garden and then a bike ride to the arts festival downtown and some live music. And maybe some ice cream.

I figured I could get all of my transplants in the ground, dig up the rest of the cover crop, and harvest all of the spinach. Well, I was able to harvest the spinach. It took two hours to cut, wash and bag it. It was HOT out there. The forecast seems to be calling for a week of hot sunny days more along the lines of late June or early July than May. Looks like we've definitely seen the likes of our last frost. The spinach just started to bolt the past couple of days. It seemed like an excellent time to pull it all out and bag it up... into seven bags.

As I harvested in the powerful late morning sun, I heard a hermit thrush singing from the same spot I heard it last spring. Seems like perhaps on the way north it makes its pit-stop in the exact same spot. 

Every once in a while you learn something about growing vegetables that's a real breakthrough. The benefit of overwintering spinach is one of those breakthroughs for me. I've never seen spinach grow like this before. I did plant some spinach seeds mid-April, but I harvested those plants today too. They had finally produced large enough leaves to harvest today, but I had picked leaves from the overwintered spinach five or six times before today. I've managed to grow and harvest the grocery store equivalent of $60 worth of spinach, and that's after sharing with the slugs. In the future, whenever I am in the same gardening space from one season to the next, I'll plant spinach six weeks before frost and then cover it for the winter. It's really been quite a spinach harvest this year. Because I'm taking off for a few days, I'll be freezing some of this spinach for use later. (Who am I kidding? I'd be freezing some of it even if I was going to be here eating spinach for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next two weeks!)

By 1:00 today it was too hot! I took off on my bike and enjoyed a blissful ride downtown and then some fantastic live music. Feels like summer!


Genie of the Shell said...

That's incredible! The spinach I planted this year has only been harvest-able for a couple of weeks. I will definitely try to overwinter it and see what happens. I accidentally overwintered a cabbage, and it's growing far better and faster than it did last year. Same for carrots and onions that I missed last year, although I don't know if those are still good this year. I guess I'll find out!

Molly said...

I heard about your cabbage. Weird. My onions popped up again this year, too, and I'm letting one grow to see what happens to it in its second year. Sounds like your spring is off to a good start!