Friday, October 14, 2011
I have a confession to make: I am leaving the Mighty Kitchen Garden. In about two months, my husband, the mongrels, and I are picking up and moving to Glasgow, Scotland. From sunny California. In mid-winter. It will be dark, and also, cold and wet. What?
We're still having a hard time wrapping our heads around it, but it is very apparent when I wander around the MKG. Normally, this is the time I'd be ordering garlic bulbs and worrying that I was letting the cucurbits hang on too long. I should be cleaning out the beds and starting the brassicas in the vain hope that I could get something harvestable before January (haven't managed to yet). But by January, we will be gone, and someone else will be tending the MKG. Weird.
Instead, I find myself wondering if there is anything I could plant now that would be ready for the Thanksgiving table. We're a little mad (as in cuckoo) and have invited our whole extended families to come feast with us one last time on US soil (at least for now). That may or may not add up to 16 adults to feed. Ahem. Like I said, we're mad.
The problem will be figuring out what I can grow in this time frame that they would all be interested in eating. For example, bok choy is a quick plant, particularly if you start with seedlings. But will my family eat it? Unclear. Chard always grows like a weed and in fact last years plants seem to be doing just fine. The hit of last Thanksgiving was an Italian stuffing with pork sausage and tons of chard. It was fabulous and it will definitely be on the table again. Radishes grow well and quickly, so I can plant a crop of them in time for the holidays (like now!), but what to do with them? Maybe I can make a little buttered sea-salted radish on toast appetizer to pass around. And herbs are always a hit.
This year, instead of planning the future winter garden of the MKG, I'll plan the Thanksgiving MKG. I'll figure out what plants I can grow in this short 6-week time frame and then plan the menu accordingly. I won't be thinking too far into the future with this season's garden. Considering the circumstances, it's time to focus on the present.