The garden exploded this weekend.  Some rain and a couple of 90ish degree days were just what we needed to push past spring seedling-hood into early summer growth spurts. The tomato plants are bigger every time I go outside, and the raspberries and grapes are wildly taking over their parts of the backyard.

One of my tactics of gardening is to plant a large variety of plants knowing that not everything will turn out in a given year. Weather and pest pressure can make big differences and a crop that normally performs great may have a lackluster year, or a novelty item you grow for fun may turn out to be your best harvest.  There's a few standbys I need to do well every season (tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onions) but the supporting roles help mix things up. This year I had terrible germination on spinach and peas.  I had a few small patches do okay in the hoop house, but it wasn't the spring of planning every meal around spinach.  I did have a fantastic bok choy crop, which was an afterthought planting in a little bed where my eggplants would eventually fill in.  This led to lots of fun experimental side dishes and a nice batch of kimchi.  I replanted my pea patch with Christmas Lima beans to cut my losses, and we'll just snack on what we do get (if the pea-loving hound does not find them all first).

I'm trying a 3-sisters bed this season: we haven't grown corn in years as it takes up a lot of room and oftentimes gets eaten by squirrels--plus fantastic sweet corn is readily available from local folks.  But, I thought I'd try a rainbow dent corn this year, so I'm imitating a raised bed design I found online with four blocks of corn inter-planted with bush delicata squash and cranberry pole beans.  We'll see how it goes!

Yesterday the late evening sun hit the yard after a long day and everything was bathed in a cornball golden and flattering light.  I had a mini-revelation: Oh yeah, this is what the hard work is for.  We take on a lot, we tackle big projects and do a ton of things ourselves from scratch, and the rewards, usually (hopefully?), are proportionate to all that effort.  Sometimes when you're focusing on a long to-do list you forget to step back and look at the big picture!

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