Monday, January 24, 2011

Fueled by a Dragon's Eye

Warning! These are the ramblings of an obsessed gardener fueled by the fire of a dragon’s eye.  The tatsoi and the pak choi are bolting.  These are my thoughts in the moonlight.  When does a seed germinate?  Have you ever noticed that you wake up to see those little sprouts in the morning?  Something is germinating in my mind.  This blog must emerge.  I look over at the profile of my sleeping husband. His eyes are open and I whisper, “It sure is bright.” And he says, “It’s the dragon’s eye outside the window.”  It’s 9 degrees outside and the sky is crystal clear and the moon that is not quite full is shining directly on our bed.  On the internet yesterday, someone asked have you ever thought about planting on a moonlight schedule?  Hogwash, I thought.  But indeed something is germinating by this moonlight, my husband’s poetic nighttime images and this blog! 
            Back to the bolting tatsoi and pak choi.  Things are happening in the greenhouse.  The winter over broccoli raab is finally flowering.  Chuck and I were trying to decide what had made it begin to flower.  Then I noticed the pak choi.  Some of them are still little, barely enough to eat and they are starting to bolt.  The tatsoi is lush and in its prime but I noticed a funny rosette in the center and know that I will soon see the bloom. I did some research.  Pak choi and tatsoi are from Thailand where they resist bolting because the days and nights are much more equal in length.  When the daylight hours lengthen, they will begin to flower.  Yes, despite this frigid air the days are getting noticeably longer and the plants in the greenhouse are beginning to awaken to the approaching spring.   Unfortunately, this means we must pick the tatsoi and pak choi before it becomes inedible and that we must wait until fall to plant and enjoy it again.
            There is another rustling in the greenhouse and that is the sound of seed catalogs.  We are ordering our seeds for the year.  If anyone has any suggestions please send a comment as soon as possible.  Planting parties will soon be happening again on Wednesdays.  Some herbs have been started but there is a lot of transplanting that also needs to be done.  The greenhouse is lovely on these cool clear days.
             I made a great stir fry of brocolli raab, pak choi, tatsoi and swiss chard.  Sauteed with 2 cloves of minced garlic, a splash of tamari and a spoon of tahini. 
             There is still a lot of mizuna and mesclun.    Have you tried mache.  It has 3 times the vitamin C of lettuce, omega 3, B vitamins and more iron than spinach.  Come get these vegetables they need picking.