Sunday, April 30, 2006

It's alive!

The new Eat Local Challenge blog is up and running, thanks to the mighty efforts of Jen Maiser. A whole bunch of bloggers--some of whom are no doubt familiar to you--will be pitching in, telling about their local eating experiences and offering their thoughts and ideas along the way.

And not to toot my own horn, but I've written a post offering a few tips for this May's challenge. I hope it'll be of help to anyone who's tackling the ELC for the first time.

May begins in mere hours, so here's a short summary of my goals for the Eat Local Challenge:

• I will attempt to source foods only from Georgia and its contiguous states (Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee). Whenever possible, I will limit myself to middle Georgia.

• Whenever possible, I will eat products produced on small farms.

• When it is impossible to source something locally, I will either leave it out of my diet or find a product that does some kind of social, environmental, or economic good in my own region.

• I recognize that there will be times I'll want to use foreign spices (e.g., cinnamon, vanilla, pepper, etc.). But I will use the Eat Local Challenge as an opportunity to emphasize the flavors that are native to the American South.

Now let's get eatin'!


Addendum: I forgot to mention that this year, as last year, I'll be keeping an ELC diary on my old food blog, Manor Menu.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

More introductions

Remember when we said we were waiting until July to get our sheep? Well, that timing didn't work so well for the farmer in south Georgia, so we decided we could make it happen now. Tomorrow or the next day, there's a movable electric mesh fence coming via UPS. It'll bridge the gap until all of our permanent fencing is done, and it'll be useful anyway. The s.o. may never mow again! (He got a little glow on his face when he realized that.)

So allow me to introduce our two pretty ladies. The ewe lamb in the previous pic had been carried off by another customer in the two days since we'd seen her--remember that these sheep are in a lot of demand around here!--so we ended up with two nice-looking five-month-olds instead. It's a very good age, I think, the only drawback being that they'll probably refer to Green #8 as "Pipsqueak," "Shortstuff," or "Junior" for the first few months while he catches up with them size-wise.

We decided to name our sheep after towns in Georgia. So the one in the front is Cordele (pronounced cor-DEAL), and the one in back is Ila (EYE-la).

Cordele is the leader, the more confident of the two. In transport, she was the first one to figure out that lying down was a good idea. She's got a darker, sheepier face and a flash of white on her tail.

Ila is taller and has a lighter, haughtier, more Roman-nosed face--a little like a Nubian goat, or like a bust of Cleopatra. She is more wary, but also calmer when caught.

I think they're beautiful! And they seem healthy and happy, none the worse for the trip. I love their personalities. Really, we couldn't be more pleased.

Oh, I almost forgot: It poured rain. Poured. The first drops came as we pulled up the truck, and then it came in sheets and buckets and gullywashes. I wish you could have seen the smile on the farmer's face.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Take that, you monster

I finally found the green caterpillar that's been ravaging--and laying eggs all over--my White Pearmain apple tree. I squashed it with extreme prejudice. Ha.

We will be in south Georgia again today, picking up two ewes. I am hoping it will be a very happy day for the farmer. He'll get a couple hundred bucks, and rain is predicted. I am convinced it's only happening because that's the most inconvenient possible weather in which to stuff two unwilling sheep into a cage on the back of a pickup truck.

Speaking of pickup truck, thank you, J, from the bottom of our hearts. You're making this possible for us, and we're very grateful.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


The bees have stopped taking the sugar syrup!

The stoppage was so abrupt that I actually popped the tops off the hives to make sure they were still in there. Yep. Their numbers are low because it takes about a month after a hive is established for new bees to start being born, but other than that, they look quite content.

I guess with all the blackberry blossoms and tulip poplars in bloom, they finally have more than they can eat.

Monday, April 24, 2006

It had to be ewe

This is south Georgia, the part Jimmy Carter is from. We went there to look at some ewe lambs today. It's beautiful in a stark, character-building sort of way. Unfortunately, this area got skipped by the recent storm front and hasn't seen a drop of rain in two months.

We visited a really nice farmstead with 350 acres of bottomland and cotton fields. The owner currently has around 100 sheep, but he's trying to reduce his flock.

This is one of the girls we're considering. Whaddya think?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Weird, weird, weird

Yes, this may actually be the weirdest thing I've ever cooked. It's the champagne and primrose jelly from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Year cookbook.

I made it with rose petals instead of primroses, having none of the latter and (as of two days ago) plenty of the former. The petals are the pink things you see at the bottom of the jelly; I failed to stick them onto the bottom layer of gelatine properly, and they floated. Oops!

The other foul-up is that the jelly was supposed to become crystal-clear, which it never did. I don't know why, since I followed the method exactly and didn't press on the jelly bag. I figure it's bad karma or something.

Never mind; this is actually really good stuff. Fussy and Edwardian? Yes, and Hugh admits as much. But its champagne and citrus flavors are very grown-up and delicious. I would make it again.

Which brings me to the real reason for this post: The dinner that preceded the jelly. The hint of rose petal in the dessert gave it a slightly Middle Eastern undertone that made it an ideal follow-up for the dish I'm about to describe.

If you're like me and you cook a lot of braises, you're probably sick to death of the part of the process where you sizzle the meat in olive oil. Grease spatters everywhere. And then somehow you end up using a zillion dishes.

But this recipe is different. It's done in only one dish, and it's 100 percent oven-baked. No fuss, no muss. And did I mention it's fantastic? It is. This one's a keeper.

(Adapted from a recipe in the Middle Eastern Cooking volume of the Time-Life Foods of the World series)

1 Tbs. olive oil
2 lamb shanks
1 medium onion, sliced thin
a large tomato or a couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes, chopped coarsely
a small can of tomato sauce
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
boiling water as needed

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Pour the olive oil into a baking dish that will hold the shanks fairly snugly. Roll the shanks in the oil to coat, then bake 30 minutes, turning occasionally to brown all sides.

Remove the dish from the oven. Spread the onion slices on the lamb, then scatter the tomatoes on top. Pour on the tomato sauce. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Top up the dish with boiling water so the lamb shanks are mostly covered. Bake 1 hour, or until lamb is tender.

Serve over couscous cooked with saffron, currants, and a cinnamon stick.

Morning yoga

Thursday, April 20, 2006

My favorite green, showcased

As you can see from the photo on my recent Eat Local Challenge post, our winter-season chard is still alive and kicking. Trying to bolt, yes, but kicking. I will keep it going into May if it kills me!

Chard and its close cousin, beet greens, are absolutely my favorite greens. More favorite than kale, spinach, turnip greens, mustard, collards, escarole, or even arugula. I love chard leaves when they are tiny and new in a salad. I love them when they're huge and overgrown in braises and pies. I can't say a single bad thing about them. They're even easy to grow. Your mileage may vary, but I've never lived anywhere where they've failed me.

I currently have Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen on loan from our local library, and last night I decided to make her "Chickpeas and Chard with Cilantro and Cumin." However, I altered the proportions and deviated from the instructions a bit along the way. And then later, when the s.o. and I were eating it and raving about how good it was, I realized I'd never added one of the ingredients in the title. So I think I have created something new:


a bunch of chard (about 10 large leaves), chopped coarsely
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
pinch of saffron
1 to 2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
2 Tbs. chopped parsley
1 to 2 Tbs. tomato paste
a 15-oz. can of chickpeas with its liquid

Put the chard in a covered saucepan with about a half-inch of water and cook over medium heat, uncovering and stirring occasionally, until it is as soft as you like it.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet and add the onion and saffron. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent.
Pile the garlic, salt, cilantro, and parsley on a cutting board and chop the mixture very finely until it all begins to hang together (sort of like the texture of mint chutney). Scrape this mixture into the pan with the onion and saffron. Add the tomato paste and the chickpeas with their liquid. Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors.
Add the chard and simmer five minutes more. Serve.

I am always amazed... the way bareroot plants that come in the mail in a plastic bag, forcryingoutloud, magically turn into vibrant plants.

Recognize this, anyone? The photo's title on Flickr gives it away.

Forest's edge

I don't know if this picture even comes close to capturing the vastness of the wild blackberry patch that's sprung up on our property. We had a lot of the forest's edge front-loadered a few years ago because of the kudzu problem. We seeded grass everywhere, but the process still left a perfect environment for weedy plants to spring up. Luckily for us, not all weeds are created equal!

This will not be fenced in for the sheep. Obviously.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

By way of explanation

I've mentioned before that it is a goal of mine to get as many people as possible to join me this May for the Eat Local Challenge. But what exactly does this entail? Is it something you can only do if (like me) you devote a disproportionate and possibly silly number of your waking hours to food-related thoughts and ideas? Or is it something everyone can tackle?

I would argue that it's the latter, and here's why.

The Eat Local Challenge is, very simply, a month set aside to raise awareness of the issues surrounding food distribution. It's based on the premise that eating locally supports small farmers, reduces pollution and petrochemical use, preserves tradition and terroir, and even makes for a better-tasting dinner.

There's a great list here that sums up the reasons far better than I ever could.

There are no "rules" to the ELC. You can take Locavores' suggestion to try to eat foods grown within a 100-mile radius of your home, or (like me) you can take a look at what's available and decide that you might have to cast your net a little bit farther. You can eat locally at every meal, or you can decide to do it only for one meal a day. You can name exemptions (for me, the list begins with lemons, olive oil, and coffee).

None of these decisions are cop-outs, because at whatever level you decide to participate, the end result will be that you'll heighten your awareness of the issues. That's all anyone's asking.

And this isn't a bland academic exercise by any means. Eating locally brings the seasons into sharp focus. It enlivens your senses and forges a connection between you and the farmers who grow your food.

Looking back, I think I did a pretty half-assed job last year; I exempted the food that was already in my cupboards, sourced from the entire American South, and sneaked in several products produced by multinational corporations. But guess what happened along the way? Eating locally became important to me. Since last year, I've learned so much about my area's foods. Remember the half hog? The Thanksgiving turkey? The apples from Ellijay? None of those things would ever have happened if it weren't for the way the 2005 Eat Local Challenge inspired me to look more closely.

Just last month I discovered a Georgia farm that distributes excellent antibiotic-free pasture-raised beef to my local Publix supermarket. I would never have noticed it if I hadn't done ELC.

So all I'm asking is for you to make a commitment at whatever level feels comfortable for you. Focus on whatever geographic radius seems doable for you. Make exemptions as you see fit; heaven knows most of us need a chocolate bar every now and then. Do a little poking around to find out who your local producers are and what they have to offer--you will definitely be surprised at what you find.

In the coming days, I'll be pointing you to a new Eat Local Challenge blog that Jen Maiser is debuting. (I'll be one of the contributing bloggers.) And I'll lay out my personal Eat Local Challenge for you: what my goals are and what I hope to accomplish. (Don't worry, the everyday grasshopper-minded writings that make up 10 Signs will continue unabated.)

As we go into the month of May, I'll take you on a few virtual field trips to local food producers in my area. I have a couple of ideas up my sleeve already.

So get planning! More solicitations will follow.

Garden notes

• Have eaten several pods' worth of tiny peas raw, while standing in the garden.

• Tomatoes not doing as well as I would like due to aridity and transplant shock. I think most of them will do fine eventually, though. Any that don't will be evicted and their locations direct-seeded.

• Have lost 1 celeriac, but the others seem to be adapting.

• Tiny green and wax beans forming in greenhouse.

• Salsify a little overdue for transplanting. Ditto eggplants.

• Squash germination count: 6 zucchini, 3 scallop, 1 Charentais melon.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

Last year, on March 19 (scroll down), I took Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's excellent Hot Cross Buns recipe and changed several ingredients to give it a little Florida-orange-grove flair. This year I took the transformation one step further, replacing the lemon zest with even more orange zest, and soaking the raisins in Cointreau.

This year, as last year, we are giving half the buns to a friend who seems to love them as much as we do.

I'm not too big on religion, but I put a lot of stock in ritual. I love the idea of marking the seasons with celebratory foods and traditions that come around only once a year. And these--these are worth waiting a year for.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I believe the children are our future

Oh, the cuteness. Oh, the unbearable cuteness.

We have put a deposit down on a ram lamb for delivery in July. His name is currently Green #8, although I suspect we will be able to improve on that. Assuming his conformation and temperament turn out to be what we expect--and barring any unforeseen events--he'll be the sire of a long line of 10 Signs Blackbelly sheep.

We also have a line on some ewe lambs in south Georgia that'll be weaned by July. We want to get the breeding stock from different places so the genetics will be as diverse as possible. It's pretty hard to get hold of Blackbelly ewes, so wish us luck.

I wish you could hear Green #8 bleat. He says "Maaaaa-huh? Maaaaaaaaaa-huh?" I would have recorded a .wav file, but I was already being a little bit of a pest with the camera.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Wrong, wrong, wrong

It's 88 degrees. Let me repeat that: 88 degrees.

We are already 3 inches short of rain for the season, and they are predicting an extremely hot, dry summer--probably an all-out drought.

On the bright side, I guess I get to try gardening in a desert climate. I'm always up for learning something new.

*smacks forehead in dismay*

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bee check!

This morning it was time for our bees' one-week checkup. By now, they should have freed and bonded to their queens*, and they should have started to use the little wax-secreting cells on their bellies to build cells on the foundations.

Our hives are A-OK on both counts, although I would rate Hive 2 as excellent and Hive 1 as merely satisfactory. There's no knowing why #1 is not thriving as much. Its bees have been consuming more sugar syrup even though there are fewer of them. I'd say they may have gotten hit harder by the storm because they're nearer to the edge of the woods, but that's pure speculation.

Anyway, it looks as though we're in good shape so far.

* The queens are shipped in teeny little cages with plugs made of candy that the workers are supposed to chew their way through. It takes them two to five days to do it. This gives the bees time to get comfortable and established in their new home because it prevents the queen from immediately deciding to lead the colony to another location.

Vantage point

The dogs love this corner of the screened porch. They can see (and bark at) anything along the road or almost anywhere on our property. It's an especially hot spot for deer scouting.

This is about the time of year we start eating dinner on the back porch, too, so soon there'll be food scraps to catch.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Let's see...

What's happening today?

• The earlier of our two sweet corn varieties is starting to poke through the soil.

• Ditto one of our two varieties of potatoes--the red ones, I think, not that I bothered to label which side of the bed was which.

• Borlotto bean plants are starting to emerge.

• The celeriac and about half of the tomatoes have been transplanted into the garden. I keep mentally referring to the tomato area as Tomato World, I suppose because of the rather architectural giant bamboo poles they are planted with.

• The 12 Hansen's Bush Cherries we planted along the front walk are already starting to leaf out.

What hasn't happened yet:

• I need to hurry up and plant the cucumbers. I also need to transplant the eggplants and the rest of the tomatoes ASAP.


An all-white Tuscan salad: fresh mozzarella, slivers of raw fennel, and celery hearts dressed in olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Not genius, certainly, but also not something I would have thought of on my own. Excellent, and very refreshing.

Jeez. I keep hyping this cookbook. I ought to point out that I like this one at least as well.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The land of caged trees

My Smyrna quince is, as you can see, putting on a crazy amount of new growth. The whole upper half of the photo is a new stem. I honestly don't think I've ever seen such a vigorous fruit tree. And no, no fertilizers were involved. I'm of the school of thought that says "Let them get their roots established before you encourage them to go crazy with the leaves." So it's been bone meal only so far.

The deer* have been dutifully cropping any plant structure that's not enclosed in wire mesh. That includes the gorgeous red Japanese maple that I was just about to photograph and post here. I wanted to show it to the world, and especially to my mother, because the seedling came from Mom's place a couple of years ago. It'll be fine--it's not the first time the deer have nipped it--but it is not as aesthetically dumfounding as it was a week ago. Mental note: Make cage for maple tree. *sigh*

In other news, pigs fly. Or so it seems. Our bees eat so much sugar syrup. We're talking as much as four cups of cane sugar per day. We're supposed to keep feeding them until they stop taking it. I had no idea how greedy the little insects would be. Yesterday they caught me very badly off guard and they went without syrup for half a day**, so now I'm full of guilt and worry, wondering if I've killed a bunch of them unintentionally. I doubt it, but still.

Tonight the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Agriculture is speaking at a local library. I plan to attend, even though it means missing both the Sweater Support Group at the yarn store (no, I'm not making a sweater--it's open to anyone who knits anything) and American Idol***. I want to meet him and hear what he has to say, but I also want to ask him where he stands on a certain issue. Wish me luck. I'm never very articulate on political matters, so I'm likely to get garbled when the stakes are high.

* I am not exaggerating when I say that some nights there will be upwards of seven or eight of them in the yard. They are not afraid of us. The s.o. shoots them in the butt with BBs, yet they return. I race at them with snarling dogs on leashes, yet they return. I guess we will have to resort to filling our freezer with venison one of these days.

** Sugar syrup is easy to make, obviously, but it has to cool for quite a long time before it can be served up. I have a pot of it cooling right now because my morning walk revealed one hive to be at 1/4 tank.

*** And this week is the music of Queen! Arrrrghh. This week of all weeks.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The blossoms are gone

...but there are hundreds of baby pears in their place!

Fingers crossed for another good year--I pruned this winter and the s.o. applied fertilizer this spring, so we've upheld our part of the bargain. Mother Nature will have to do the rest.


One of the s.o.'s special talents is growing flowers. We pretty much divide the gardening duties into edibles vs. non-edibles, with him in charge of the latter. He grows the most amazing zinnias, marigolds, and lantanas, and he seems to be able to start practically anything from a cutting. He has the proverbial green thumb.

Recently he moved this young clematis from a place where it wasn't thriving and trained it up the side of the front porch. Nice, eh? Imagine what it will look like in a few more years!

Saturday, April 08, 2006


We are eating the first asparagus spear of the season!

Yes, just one. I made it into a frittata with homemade bacon, eggs, and the egg whites that were left over from making the Meyer lemon curd.

Muy bueno. And even better: IT'S RAINING!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Nearly there

Can you see it in the photo? The square of unturned dirt in the back center of the garden? That's all I have left to dig. Sweet.

Today I dug and planted 16 squash and melon hills (partly visible in the back left), transplanted a row of Hopi red dye amaranth that had been growing in the greenhouse, and planted two more rows of Parmex carrots. That's more than I thought I'd get done, so I'm feeling very happy with myself.

Next up: cucumbers. I'm keeping the tomatoes and eggplants in the greenhouse until Tuesday or Wednesday in order to get (hopefully) the last couple of 45-degree nights out of the way.

Oh, those two dots in the middle back, by the edge of the woods, partially obscured? Those are the beehives.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bee grove

Everybody seems to be settled in. They're certainly eating a lot! And not just the sugar syrup, either. All day while we were working on our vineyard, we kept seeing bees poking their heads into the weedy little purple flowers that dot our lawn. I also saw a few carrying some kind of odd-looking red pollen.

Meanwhile, we humans have been busy, too. We have trellised up all our grapes and planted the following:

• Two chestnut trees
• 12 Hansen's bush cherries
• 4 elderberry bushes

I hope to get the majority of my vegetable garden planted by the end of the weekend. And we still have a lot of our haul from the Grower's Outlet to deal with!

Thoughts on a dry spring season

I almost hate to mention the dry spring we're having here, because I know some people are having the opposite problem. But I can't ignore it. This current spell of drought is a big issue for me, since we've been planting so much.

I seem to spend all my time watering things. This is nothing new; I've been complaining about lugging hoses around since the very first month I wrote this blog! But right now it's especially acute because there is just no other water, other than what comes out of the spigot.

But the trick to gardening is attitude. For at least one reason, I'm glad it's so dry this spring. That's because last year we had a very wet spring that caused the old pear tree to get a horrible outbreak of fireblight. This winter I pruned off the blighted branches, dipping the pruners in bleach water after each cut, which helped a lot. But what that tree really needed was a dry spring to give it a chance to get ahead. So this is a good thing!

And here's a reason I'm glad I have to lug hoses around: Organic gardening requires, above all else, vigilance. The first year I grew vegetables, I had them on an automatic soaker-hose system. As a result, I didn't spend enough time walking around in the garden. And as a result, the garden went straight to sh*t. Walking around with a hose in hand is like reading the morning paper--it gives me the day's news.

Just today I was watering our new orchard and I noticed that a Very Hungry Caterpillar had eaten the new leaves off my Arkansas Black apple tree. And then I noticed a second Very Hungry Caterpillar about to do the same thing to my Smyrna Quince! Not so fast, fellas. Off you go.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

They're in!

Okay, this photo isn't very interesting--it's the hives as they looked just before we put the bees in. But it started to get pretty dark while we were doing it, so this is what we've got.

Basically, you spray the bees with water so they can't fly as well, then you jar them to the bottom of the box, turn the box over, and shake them into the hive. They cling together so that a mass of bees falls in. Any that don't go in at first follow later when the inside bees start sending "home" signals.

Everything went quite smoothly except for one sketchy moment when I bent over forward and felt my shirt pull away from my jeans in the back. Instantly I had a bee up the back of my shirt. But I managed to stay calm, and the bee flew away without stinging me.

The first hive seemed mellow and the second one seemed a little more aggressive. That could be their actual personalities, or it could have been circumstantial (that is, we might have pissed off the second hive somehow without realizing it).

I hope our bees are happy here. We are certainly happy to have them.

You'd better bee-lieve it

The folks at our rural post office are so laid-back. They waited until the very civilized hour of 7:45 a.m. to call us, rather than panicking and giving us the 5:30 reveille.

*ring ring*

"Good morning! Your bees are here."

"Oh! I'll be there right away."

"No hurry. It's just that you'll have to come. Rosemary [our letter carrier] won't bring them to you in her car."

Right now I am feeding them a light sugar syrup by brushing it on the screens. The instructions say to keep feeding until the bees stop taking the syrup. They seem hungry; I'm not sure I'll be able to stop anytime soon.

At dusk today, they will enter their new hives. You're supposed to wait until early evening so the bees snuggle in for the night and put up their "hive sweet hive" signs, rather than getting any funny ideas about migrating somewhere else.

The bees have flower breath. Seriously. It must be coming from them, because all they have to eat right now is plain sugar syrup.

More blogging as soon as we do the installation!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Fruits of our labor?

Busy day today. After a full morning in the office and a quick jaunt outdoors to plant a row of basil, we drove to Loganville, Ga., to the Grower's Outlet. The s.o. had heard of it from some friends and wanted to see if it was "all that." It was. Unbelievable prices, and nice plants, too. I got the dwarf banana plant you see in the photo. Supposedly it will make real bananas if we manage not to kill it.

While we were in the Atlanta metro, we went to the DeKalb Farmer's Market and got groceries. I bought a bag of Meyer lemons because they were perfectly ripe and fragrant. There was no time to lose--they'd be over the hill in a day or so. So during halftime of the NCAA final (yaaaaaayyy Florida!), I made Bakerina's Meyer lemon curd. Wow! Bakerina is a woman who knows her way around a double boiler. It'll be a miracle if we don't eat every bit of the curd straight from the jar. Not that there'd be anything wrong with that.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

I did it!

Here they are--my first pair of socks. And believe it or not, they came out identical enough that I can't tell the difference when I'm wearing them. That had been my greatest fear: that they'd be a little dissimilar-feeling and that the difference would constantly, unceasingly freak out the super-perfectionist part of my mind.

But no. In fact, they're really comfortable, and I love them.

Now, onward to a few gorgeous little balls of grey wool that will become a pair of socks for the s.o.!

Busy times

I'm not worth much today, posting-wise. We just have too much to do! And to be honest, my hands kind of hurt. So I'll keep it brief:

• Muscadines are planted and pruned, and we're working on the trellises.

• Corn rows are dug and ready to be manured and planted.

• Borlotto beans, horseradish, and sunchokes are planted.

• A new row of golden beets has been planted to replace the last one, which mysteriously failed to do anything whatsoever, despite the success of a row of Chiogga beets planted simultaneously only a few inches away.

• I planted three hops vines, but neither of us likes where I planted them, so they'll have to be moved.