This is how I spent parts of the weekend: sitting on my duff, pulling leaves from greens that have bolted in the heat here in the District of Columbia.
I planted my greens–mustards, arugula, mizuna–on March 13 and as soon as temperatures started to rise they wanted to burst into bloom. The mizuna was a total loss. But I went to work salvaging what I could from the rest.
I start early the morning–before the heat sets in–and plant myself on a 5-gallon bucket. It’s pleasant enough work, just plucking greens and thinking of nothing in particular. The long stems are destined for the compost heap. When I’ve collected a big bowl full of greens, I dump them in the kitchen sink to refresh in cool water. Spin them dry and they’re ready to load into plastic bags.
We now have bags bulging with greens, enough to keep us in salad for the next couple of weeks.
Planting our favorite greens in spring is so different from the fall crop, which seems to last forever. The last plantings keep through the winter and into the spring thaw, when they revive and feed us almost until the new greens are ready. But the spring greens are merely a chimera. Here today, gone tomorrow. They warn that another oppressive summer of heat and humidity is on its way. In fact, temperatures here are supposed to climb into the 90s and stay there, thick with moisture, for most of the week.
I’m already wishing for fall.