Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cilantro and a Turkey

I usually don’t go into the garden until after breakfast, but I wanted to harvest the lettuce before it heated up for the day. I told myself I would just grab the lettuce and come back in. That didn’t happen. I had to check out the whole garden to make sure nothing nasty was illicitly snacking. Then I noticed some of the cilantro was starting to bolt. Cilantro bolts very quickly. It is really a very strange plant. Instead of one kind of leaf, it switches as it starts to bolt. The early leaves are much like flat leafed parsley, just a little rounder. The later leaves become frilly. You can see in the photo that the leaves in the back are older and the lighter leaves in the front are starting to become frillier. I think cilantro is better before it bolts, though I’ll eat the leaves either way if that is all there is in the garden. Since I have tons and it is useless after it bolts, I quickly IMed some friends and asked them if they wanted some. Since I got a couple of takers, my cilantro will have a good home.

I said cilantro was useless after it bolts, but that isn’t really true. Cilantro is coriander. So I’ll let plenty of the plants bolt and collect some of the seeds. I’ll also leave a lot of the seeds to self sow for next year.

I did get around to thinning out my lettuce and picking the last of the early lettuce. The early lettuce was transplanted into the garden. All the rest of the lettuce is direct sown. I brought it in and decided to look under it to make sure I wasn’t bringing in too many bugs. Ack! A big black spider was hiding underneath. I broke off the leaf he was hiding under and tossed it away. After the shivers went away I washed up the lettuce. My daughter commented that it looked just like the lettuce from the store. Actually it was larger than the ones I usually get there. My lettuce is being very strange. It usually doesn’t grow quite this well. It is kind of nice to have too much lettuce.

I’ve also noticed something else strange in my lettuce patch. When I pick a head of lettuce, I reseed for a later crop. Then the next lettuce is picked and I move some of the newly seeded lettuce that has just come up. It usually doesn’t even have its first true leaves but sometimes it does. The lettuce that was moved seems to be growing faster than the lettuce that wasn’t. Very strange.

Nature’s gift to me today was the wild turkey visiting me outside the garden fence. If he were inside it wouldn’t be much of a gift since I know from my childhood what turkeys can do to a garden. But there he was very close and just ignoring me. Usually I have my dog with me, and the dog loves to chase the turkeys, so I don’t get to see them up close. Today I did.


  1. Daphne,
    I have the same problem too...way too many wonderful blogs to follow...I start one place, and end up on the other side of the world!

  2. I so love all the garden blogs. They are too much fun to read and distract me from my work. It is the problem with working for myself. I can work whenever I want, but I can get distracted too easily.

  3. I love your picture of the wild turkey! What a great way to start the day! There were some at my parents house when I was a teen, but they haven't been there since. I've yet to see one at my house either, but maybe one day! I enjoyed your blog and will definitely visit again!

  4. We didn't used to have turkeys around here. I'd only see them if we went to Vermont. Then one day they showed up and now are all over the area. This was just one, but occasionally the flock visits. I've seen as many as eight of them together.