may in the willamette valley

…was rough. After the brief heat spell, we dipped back down to just-under-normal temperatures, and it has been grey and kinda chilly for the past couple of weeks. My peas are happy, but the hot weather plants — peppers and tomatoes, in particular — are growing slowly. Still, signs of life and a fruitful future emerge and give us hope. June is nothing short of wondrous.

I love watching the garden this time of year, and I always take a bunch of pictures of nothing particularly interesting but the miracle of life. So I thusly bring you the new leaves on my little fig plant, a peapod, tiny black raspberries, a white strawberry shielded by an umbrella, baby Concord grape clusters and Supersweet 100 tomato flowers.

The farmers at Saturday Market are much further along than I am, as can be expected. I bought my first Seascape strawberries this weekend, watched a veritable carrot feeding frenzy, admired the shiny new garlic and acres of gorgeous lettuces, and succumbed to the charms of a small fennel bulb and a pound of fava beans for future experimentation.

Retrogrouch was swayed by the rhetorical strength of an argument made by a 1# bag of Hentze’s hazelnuts and the compelling claims of a potato donut from Hideaway Bakery. The Hideaway Bakery’s wood fire oven convinced me, too, to buy a dark loaf of old skool rye, as heavy and dense as a Russian brick. And, as assurance against a vampyre infestation, I forked over less than a handful of dollars for some (already?) late garlic scapes to pickle. Disaster preparedness: let me show you it.

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