Carolyn’s Online Magazine
HOW DOES MY GARDEN GROW IN JUNE?
(Including a First Harvest Chicken Salad Recipe)
I’ve spent the past few weeks building my garden. It all began when my husband Monte asked me if it was time to plant the potato eyes shriveling on our back porch.
“No,” I said. “I’m not planting a garden.”
He was taken aback.
“I’ve worked hard for the past several years, planting our garden, and when we return from our travels I discover what the deer haven’t eaten the weeds have taken over.”
I persisted. “If there isn’t an effective deer fence around the garden, it will remain unplanted.”
Monte picked up on the cue. Soon I had a garden area surrounded with chicken wire, topped with black deer netting.
He even put in a garden gate—an old storm door we’d stored for several years.
In digging up the dirt in the garden Monte discovered numerous potato plant volunteers, from last year’s garden, rise up their green shoots. He replanted them, and added this year’s “eyes.” I purchased a couple tomato plants which I planted in pots. By June 13 I had planted peppers, several varieties of squash, and some gourds.
The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul. —Alfred Austin
Soon I watched a deer investigate the garden.
On Saturday afternoon, June 13, 2015, I reaped my first garden harvest: snow peas, which I planted six weeks ago in a small plot by our back door and in a deep plastic bucket. And a few lettuce greens.
Both planting sites were protected with deer netting.
Garden as though you will live forever. —William Kent
Then I picked nature’s offerings: chives, which volunteer their harvest each year, and clover greens—I gather whatever I can from my yard. When my kids were little I made them field soup, which my daughter still remembers. Most of its ingredients came from wild plants (weeds?) growing in the field.
Ahh—with the chicken breast I’d just cooked I had the makings of a good meal. All the ingredients for a chicken salad. Below is a rough recipe for what I created.
CHICKEN (or tuna, or egg) SALAD
Mix the following ingredients together in a medium size bowl:
Snow peas—12-15, diced
Chives*—a bunch, diced
Clover greens—several stalks, diced
One chicken breast diced (or a can of tuna, several mashed hard-boiled eggs)
One small can of mushroom pieces (drained) [optional]
Olives (black or green) sliced [optional]
Mayonnaise to taste.
3-5 daises, short stems
Several clover heads
Make a bed of lettuce leaves. Plop some chicken (tuna, egg) salad on it. Garnish with the daisies and clover heads.
Serve with a cold beverage, turn the radio on to soft music, and curl up with a good book.
Enjoy your meal.
And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. —Khalil Gibran
NOTE: There’s one family of ingredients I never fail to cook without: those in the Allium genus (plant family). These include onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, and chives. I use them because they taste good, and they have a reputation of protecting the body against both cardiovascular disease and cancer.