Spring is fickle. One minute wooing you with bouquets of daisies, the next blowing a gale and laughing manically as it catches you in a shower of rain. Luckily our vegetable garden seems to thrive on this callous treatment.
The cabbages are pictures of bursting health, we have an enviable broccoli crop this year, and while for some bizarre reason our last carrot planting failed, there are new rows beginning to show promising signs.
|An evening walk - Youngest still immersed in book|
We walk purposefully along, stride up the hill until we reach the veggie patch, where I veer off the road and start gathering a bouquet of greens. Bunny bouquets for the two rabbits and two guinea-pigs, who must have the healthiest diet of any caged pets: beet leaves, nasturtium leaves, cabbage leaves, broccoli leaves, rocket gone to flower, spinach, lettuce, radishes.
Picking all this fresh food for them delights my frugal-disguised-as-green-living soul. All they need is the outer cabbage leaves, the lower broccoli leaves, the thinned beets from overcrowded rows, the radishes that have got too huge for us to eat.
It’s free for the gathering, unlike the extortionate bag of designer guinea-pig food sold to my husband in the pet shop, where the girls chose their new guinea-pigs. State of the art flakes of dried fresh food, guaranteed to have a residue of vitamin C and originate from real apples and carrots... like eating your salads in the form of breakfast cereal.
The bouquet looks so pretty that it’s a shame to let it drop to the floor of the cage... the guinea pigs stand up on their back legs and squeak desperately until I hand it over. It’s polished off in twenty minutes flat. Thereafter any time we go past the back door heart-rending squeaks ask for more, more, more.
Inspired by all this free goodness I made a Thai green vegetable curry for supper last night, hoping to convince the kids that this is an edible option. I put in plenty of potatoes as a base (they will all eat potatoes at least!) then added in the just-picked broccoli and spinach. All I can say is that three out of five of us ate it quite happily and at least our son will eat plain rice till the cows come home... what was that vitamin deficiency linked to rice-eating, I wonder?
And spring on our farm continues to look gorgeous, every time the sun shines and brings the daisies out in a blaze of dazzling brightness.