It's that time of year, when the garden just explodes with produce. Our rainbow chard plants are approaching four feet tall! As you can see here, just eight gigantic leaves supplied our family's veggie needs for dinner and weighed almost two pounds. I remember when we moved here our neighbors grew these amazing plants like this and I wondered how they did it. The first few years my chards and spinaches were just puny little things, but little by little as I mulched more and composted more and learned about cover crops and all of that stuff, our yields have gotten better and better and now it is I that has The Chard That Ate New York (cue corny B-movie music...)
To celebrate our bounteous harvest, our flowering onions have all decided to put on party hats for the occasion. It just cracked me up to see them all wearing their cute little hats. I have to admit that as proficient as I have become at growing chard, I'm still pretty clueless about the onions. They keep cropping up, and I keep not knowing what to do with them and when to harvest them. One of these days I'll figure that out too. The great thing about gardening is that you can really just keep muddling along and as you gain experience things just fall into place a little at a time. For now, the onions have gone to seed and are just sitting there looking festive. By next year, they may be gracing our hamburgers.
One more thing to celebrate this week is Food Independence Day, where we can show our patriotism by eating locally sourced meats, fruits, grains, and veggies. I know that our 4th of July steaks grew up eating the grass of our own valley, and that the lettuce on our burgers comes from 10 yards away. What better way to remain independent than to support our local farmers, ranchers, butchers, dairy farmers, and markets, eating American food!