I walk the pre-death tightrope all the time: Just let myself go and become irrelevant or try to stay engaged. Play the Zen master or read the newspaper. Use the garden to go Siddhartha-at-the-river or look at how my investments are doing. I know the former is preferred, but I hear “Yanny.”
The produce site is coming along. It’s been two-steps-forward-one-back this year, lots of frustrations. Year One was filled with road blocks at the beginning. The beginning of Year Two has been filled with potholes: poor weather, a grass invasion, irrigation problems. Max will bring in his first harvest tomorrow, but it’ll probably just be a greens mix: cress, spinach, kale, and lettuce. We might also have a spicy mix: tatsoi, arugula, and green wave mustard. I’ll help him decide tomorrow night what to harvest.
The heirloom phenomena might end up salvaging a chunk of my early season. By letting my lettuce beds go to seed and blowing all over the place, I have lettuce reproducing in many places. See pic below, which is from the crack between the curb and street, about 20 feet from an heirloom lettuce bed. One of the best lettuces for this, it would appear, is the inimitable Jester. It’s proving to be my best lettuce, better even than the highly-touted Salanova. It’s delicious, has good heft, plants well indoors, transplants great (far better than Salanova in this regard), produces lots of seeds, over-winters, and survives the heat of summer fairly well. I’m not sure how nutritious it is. It’s partially hybrid from ice lettuce, which is low in nutrients, but another of its parents is Merlot, which is supposedly very high in antioxidants, so it’s gotta have decent nutritional value. I discovered it at Wild Garden Seed, which is a first-rate company in my experience.
I’m so impressed by Jester that I spread a topsoil paste made of vermicompost and old potting mix at a segregated location at my site yesterday, then sprinkled Jester seeds and watered. The goal is get a few dozen plants to come up and let them go to seed, just so I can harvest the seeds. I got a solid crop of seeds last year, but it was planted next to its cousin, Joker (also highly recommended), so I couldn’t tell which seed I harvested.