We get really excited about mild spring weather here in upstate New York. It was only a few short months ago that we were digging ourselves out of the snow...
So when the warming rays of the sun start popping the greens out of the landscape and things start sprouting and growing, we really try to be outdoors as much as possible and take advantage of the beautiful weather.
The farmers in these parts get a little heady too from all the nice weather and you see funny little sculptures along the roads to celebrate Spring.
The Spring peepers are one harbinger of Spring in our neck of the woods. We have a boggy place on the north side of our property and they really make a racket at night when they are courting. They are nocturnal critters, so I have never actually seen one, but you can check them out in all their visual and auditory glory on Wikipedia. On the south side of the property, where we have a few more trees, we also get a competing nighttime concert from the Grey Treefrog (Hyla Versicolor). They also like to hop in our pool, so we have to be vigilant in fishing them out so they don't get poisoned by the pool chemicals. See if you can spot the camouflaged frog here in this picture.
They are handsome little guys. And boy are they loud! Check out their call here.
Since this is a food blog, after all, and I will not be providing any recipes or tips for preparing les jambes des grenouilles, I will turn back to my vegetable garden.
So far, things are progressing nicely, with lots of herbs and asparagus to eat.
The big crop this year will be garlic. I planted over 150 cloves of garlic and most came up to grow and become big, juicy bulbs of garlic in mid-July. They like the moistest spots in the back garden, so it will be interesting to see how the different varieties I procured from the Bennington Garlic Festival will turn out. It will be REALLY interesting, since I have misplaced my garden map and can't remember which varieties were planted where.
I also popped in some shallots. The grower I bought them from advised planting them just like garlic, pointy end of the shallot down, and each shallot bulb has come up this spring as a cluster of shallots, so I am very encouraged about the productivity of this crop.
They also produce little tiny scapes like garlic, though they are saber-straight and not curvilinear and crazy like the garlic scapes. I assumed I should shear them off the shallot plants since this will redirect the plant's energy into making my delicious shallot crop. I chopped some up for some rice filling for my stuffed grape leaves and they were delicious.
Off to plant the lettuces and the string beans.....