A few days after I wrote the previous post in June, we had a “weather event”, something not uncommon in Oklahoma. It was not a tornado, but a microburst. Don’t be deceived by the name, there was nothing “micro” about it! Most microbursts only last a minute or two, but this one went on for 20 minutes. Winds were up to 80 mph, and there was hail. So our garden and yard looked like it had all gone through a paper shredder. It took Mike three days to clean up the debris. Some plants came through better than others – things that had skinny or fern-like leaves. Many vegetables snapped in two, or had all their leaves stripped. And then, the next day, the temperature started rising, so that now we’ve had a month of 100+ degree weather.
In fact, July in Oklahoma was the warmest month on record – ever- for a state in the USA:
“Oklahoma and Texas had their warmest months ever on record, with average temperatures of 88.9 degrees F and 87.1 degrees F, respectively. Oklahoma’s statewide average temperature was the warmest monthly statewide average temperature on record for any state during any month.” (NOAA)
And, oh yeah… we’re also having a drought here. Most things are still alive, thanks to Mike’s foresight in installing a new drip irrigation system. So tomatoes, cucumbers, and pole beans are still alive, but not setting fruit (too hot for blooms to set). But here are the real survivors, the plants that are not only still alive, but are producing something edible:
- sweet potatoes
- basil, oregano, garlic chives
- hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus) which I grow for an ornamental, but I’m rethinking that…
The funny thing is that the plants that seem to be doing the best are those that came up voluntarily in the patio chat (arugula, basil) or cracks in the concrete (amaranth).
Every darn seed came up!
The title for this post, if you don’t get it, is a corny play on words – leap forward (as in spring forward) which is what we will did today as we switched to daylight savings time. [Wow! It seems like only yesterday that we did the fall back procedure.] But why leek? Because I have been contemplating how to deal with an excess of leeks in my garden, of course! Besides having ready-to-harvest leeks that overwintered, I have young leeks taking up a whole garden bed, and more seedlings that I
am trying to give away. You see, I saved some seed from last year’s crop, and because I wasn’t sure how well they would germinate, I overplanted. And because I can’t stand to pull out and throw away a viable plant… So I’ve scoped out some recipes and thought up some of my own. I added arugula into the search since I have an excess of that too. Speaking of which, I just read that Obama was called elitist for eating/ordering/planting arugula, which is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. I consider arugula (aka rocket) a weed!
Of course there is leek and potato soup or vichyssoise, which I made last week. Here are some other ideas I came up with:
- Arugula and Leek Quesadilla
Ready to eat
- Saute the leeks and arugula in olive oil first. Use Pepper Jack cheese or cheddar with sliced jalapenos.
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Leek and Arugula
- On sourdough bread, naturally. Saute the leeks and arugula in butter or olive oil with garlic first.
- Mac & Cheese with Leeks
- Leek and Arugula Lasagna
- Leek and Arugula Fried Pies
- Leek and Veggie Pakoras
For your further amusement, check out this blog post about the history of leek growing clubs and shows in England. Near the end of this long post there are some leek recipes. Mike and I are going to this part of England in May. I wonder if there are still any leek clubs there?
Here is an arrangement of today’s pickin’s from the garden. Yellow wax bush beans, baby eggplant, serrano chili, bell pepper, and yellow cherry tomato. I’m going to use these in a tofu and noodle stir fry for dinner.
I also harvested a large bag of parsley, and am making pesto with it, adding in fresh oregano, mint, garlic, olive oil, a squirt of lemon juice, and salt.
- basil seedlings
Tonight I’ll transplant my Genovese and Thai basil, which I broadcast seeded in the garden. Because I save my own seed I always have more than I need, and I’ve found that direct seeding in the garden after the soil has really warmed up works best for basil. I even have lemon basil coming up on its own – voluntarily. Speaking of which – I have arugula sprouting underneath the patio table (where I harvested the dried seed). Funny, but the pebbles and chat underneath this table seem to be a perfect medium for seedings! I’ll transplant some of the arugula and see how it does in the middle of a nasty hot Oklahoma summer.