Hebe’s Coming Out

Our large maple tree in the front yard came down Saturday since it was showing its age by growing several conch fungi. It was a beautiful tree in its prime but needed to be removed before we woke up with it in bed with us! Hebe, the goddess who greets you at our front door, is lacking her leafy bower. She weighs many hundreds of pounds so I think it will be easier to grow some vine for shade around her instead of moving her to another nook. Her nectar for eternal life that she is offering did not reach the maple!

The plans are to change our manner of yard care into a permaculture mode…starting with the front yard! What that means exactly, I’m not sure, since Nathan is the instigator of all of this. The main thought is that there should be several life-giving purposes to the placement of things in relation to my front door. A lawn is mowed at least once a week, using fossil fuels that are nonrenewable and polluting the air faster than we care to think. My take on all the discussions is that nut and fruit trees will be the top story with a perennial carpet of plants giving nutrients back into the soil.

In light of that, we are needing LARGE sheets of cardboard, if you happen to have it sitting around. Once the tree is cleared, the ground is to be covered with cardboard and mulch, similar to what I’ve done in all the flower beds to keep the weeds down.

On to tasty delights of local harvests! I have enjoyed the crisp flavor of Tokyo Bekana in my sandwiches and in salads. The midribs of Mei Qing Choi and Joi Choi add a sweet juicy crunch to carrot salad. Steamed buttercup squash is less hassle than a pie and richer in flavor, oh my goodness! The season for salsas is coming to a close when my cilantro finally decides it is frozen, though I am going to try and freeze some in ice cubes to see if the flavor holds.

Harvest this week should include: a choice of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage or Brussels sprouts since there was not enough of one type of brassica for everyone. There should also be a small bag of greens including: claytonia, spinach, lettuces and bull’s blood beet tops and then head lettuce, buttercup squash, onions, radishes, carrots and a variety of Asian greens.