April is the month of the Hungry Moon. It may not be quite April yet but I can see why. My freezer is looking mighty sparse, the root cellar barren and my multiple canning cabinets have been condensed down to one. Even the dried food is looking bleak. I will just about make it until summer with mint for tea. The celery is gone as are most of the mushrooms. The garlic is sprouting and onions are history. I served the final jar of peaches this weekend and strawberries are just a memory until June. The good news is that we are eating the food. The bad news is that I can see I need to be preserving more next year.
With that in mind, I spent time out in the garden looking for places I can carve out more space for things I’m short on. Of course looking morphed into cleaning up. I pulled up all the plants that were left standing in the garden Ben and Maggie used last year. It stands right next to the strawberry patch so it makes sense to pull out the wooden border and add that 12×12 space. I will have plenty of plants to transplant. In fact, I remember pulling out a good 300 plants from last year’s patch and passing them on to friends and neighbors. I’ll do the same this year.
We have a weird, pie shaped spot of soil between the newer greenhouse and the canning kitchen. It’s just right for the herb garden expansion. I already dedicated a spot for the perennial onions but I don’t think it’s large enough. It will do for this year but in the fall I’ll be looking to expand. I need a bigger onion patch too. Someplace, I have to find room for the squash I’m planting for seed saving. I want it closer to the house so I can keep an eye on it. I love the planning but this spell of amazing weather is making me itchy to get my hands in the dirt. As the ground is still mostly frozen I’m relying on the greenhouse to feed the addiction.
I had a lovely experience yesterday. After cleaning up the small garden plot I moved in the herb garden. I wanted to thin out the sage and thyme and cut back the mint. As I pulled out dead plants I was rewarded with the most amazing smells. I had left behind a clump of lemon grass when I put the garden to bed last fall. It was bronze and brittle, looking as dead a plant can be but the lemon fragrance was so intense that my mouth watered. The sage brought to mind Thanksgiving dinner. Even the eucalyptus was still fragrant. I found mints and lavender and rosemary. They may be dead or dormant but the memory remains.
My son and DIL came for breakfast Saturday morning. It was a such a joy to offer French toast made with our eggs and my neighbor’s raw milk. I baked a big pan of bacon (baking it requires much less watching and it’s a lot less messy)and served the last of the peaches and strawberries on the side. Pouring on the syrup we had boiled the day before topped off a perfect meal. Now, if I could just figure out how to make mint tea taste like coffee I’d be all set.