Friday, August 21, 2009

Free collard seedlings, August sowings

You may come to the right of my front steps at 56 Gordonhurst Montclair if you want some free collard seedlings. I did something silly, about which I might as well confess. Having made earlier collard sowings from years-old seeds with only a modicum of success, I decided after coming home from vacation last week that I must take firm action. I not only used recent seeds, but I scattered them MUCH too abundantly. I don't remember doing such a thing before, but in an earlier life I would have simply composted the extras and saved only enough for me. Fred likes to say, "Denial isn't just a river in Egypt." So I may have been similarly silly before.
This time, however, I couldn't bring myself to destroy THAT many seedlings, so I've have put at least two-families-worth of seedlings in each of six pots. If they are taken, I have more. I'm not sure how long they will last or how easily they will transplant, but I suspect that anyone who gets there today will get plenty of collard plants if they take ONE pot. I forgot to check how far apart they should be spaced, but it's at least a foot. You get a lot of collards from one plant. I usually eat a collards meal every three days from light frost until the end of December. Then they play dead. One year I didn't remove them and they revived in March. Now I tend to cover them with floating cover, and they don't look "as dead" during the winter. They are a great fresh veggie in late fall and early spring. Some years I eat them all summer, but this year the mold got to them, just about the time that summer crops were coming in.

Also in the past week I have sowed kale and lettuce (I'm "always" sowing lettuce), and both are peeping up above the soil. Today I sowed 2-season Chinese cabbage and pak choi in my greenhouse window. The former will grace my cold frame and yield delicious fresh dinners every three days in January and February. The latter are destined to line the pea fence and defend the baby pea plants next spring against woodchuck invaders. Oh, yes, pak choi is good to eat itself, but these seeds are taken from the plant that successfully defended some rare surviving pea plants this past spring.

Meanwhile, we're eating well. Zuchinni, cucumbers, and tomatoes (both large and small), and Malabar spinach are abundant, and there is LOTS of basil for pesto.
If it were a bit less humid, this human would be even happier. However, the
baby eggplants, barely perceptible early in the week, are growing furiously in this weather. "There is no accounting for taste," observed Julius Ceasar over 2000 years ago. Yesterday the eggplants almost doubled in length between early morning and mid-afternoon!


No comments: