Today I completed another phase of getting the garden prepared. I received two cubic yards of mulch and made quick work of it during Vera's nap; I spread it around the perennials in the front garden as well as mulching the paths between raised beds and around all the other plants outside of the raised beds. This morning I also planted some popcorn and multi-colored ornamental corn, which we grew in the past to grind into cornmeal. My new gooseberry and elderberry bushes are in and look happy with a layer of bedding around them. I also made an impromptu stone edge around the gooseberry patch with the stones I didn't use for the front raised beds. Update: I decided to wait until next year to do the last raised bed in the front under our windowboxes. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed as of this week and realized it was creating a lot of stress to figure out when and how I could go get more stones. So it will wait. We have plenty of irons in the fire this season. I tend to be quite ambitious when it comes to veggie gardening so sometimes I have to rein myself in.
I am finally posting pics of the new fence, gate, and living awning. The awning replaces a hemp canvas awning I ruined last fall as I was trying to clean it. Oops! This one is passive solar as it will support vines (like pole beans and peas) and create shade for our front room in the summer and when the growth dies away in the winter, it will allow more light into the house to warm it.
No recipe today, but I do have some recipe ideas. As we were preparing our strawberry rhubarb crostata where I work at Sheridan's on Fridays I realized that the juice we drain from the homemade fruit filling could be used in so many tasty ways. We made a quick strawberry rhubarb sorbet with it, but once the gears started turning we realized we might also make syrup for pancakes, waffles, or crepes, and a vinaigrette for a spring salad. The main idea is that even this by-product will not go to waste. And we get another dose of this season's delicious strawberry rhubarb loveliness. And who couldn't use more of that?
Tomorrow is the first Elkhorn Antique Flea Market at the Walworth County Fairgrounds and man-o are we excited. My friend Karen and I are anticipating another fun summer of taking the kids along and drooling over miles of awesome antiques for a few hours. If you're an antique lover and haven't checked this out, it's an absolute must. It took me about 6-8 visits to finally cover the whole market and by that time I felt brain dead. We've got our lists, I'm packing a local spring lunch, and the wagons are shined up (one for the kids and one for the goods). Stay tuned to hear about our finds.