Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yard Chard

Sunday was so warm and delightful a day I got drawn into some unplanned garden tasks, merely as an excuse to be outside. (Hard to believe only two days later as I look out at a cold rainy evening.) There were volunteer chard plants coming up in various spots and raised beds just sitting there under their blankets of straw. Why not put the two together?

The particular patch pictured above is on the path next to last year's chard bed. It consists mostly of seedlings of the coveted Bionda di Lyon variety. All I had to do was dig up the seedlings with a trowel and plant them right back into their ancestral home.

The soil in the bed was perfect: crumbly, dark, and full of earthworms. Several months ago the bed was covered with a layer of fresh horse manure -- earth apples that I get now and then by the bagful from a friend who volunteers with the Morgan horses at Pt. Reyes National Seashore -- and a protective layer of straw. Under the rotting straw there was no trace left of the manure. It was completely assimilated into the rich web of life that we call dirt. I'm expecting big things, literally, from this patch of yard chard.

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