My Little Victory Garden: Entry Two

One week before a business down the road from our home opened, torrential rains came and took out their entire retaining wall. In three days, however, the mess was cleaned up and crews worked around the clock to rebuild the wall and the structures it had pulled down. Now restored, the first business is OPEN.

The majority of Oklahoma experienced a sustaining drought throughout last fall and on through Winter 2010-11. No rain.  Zero.  When this kind of thing happens in the winter, it’s not quite as noticeable as it is when green things are growing.  However the situation was pretty bad: until just a few days ago fire warnings had been published, all our snow had only amounted to mere tenths of an inch once melted and the winter wheat was really suffering.

Then last week the rain came.  In torrents.  Although our whole state didn’t get moisture, a good deal did and that “good deal” included My Little Victory Garden.  Two days after Mick had plowed up the beautiful soil into a soft loam for planting, the rain came with a vengeance.  My yard still has “wavy grass” reminders, my garden was flooded and the aftermath is a now uneven, cracked plot with sand in it.  Why sand?  The rain was so hard it found a weak, lower area in our neighbors yard and drilled down behind our retaining wall, oozing out the native sandy loam through the cracks.  But that wasn’t the worst damage.  My garden got off easy.

Did you get a big rain? Did your yard look like this once the water subsided?

Here's the sink hole that became the portal to cover my garden in sand.
You can see how the rains shoved the dirt through any crack the water could find.
And, here's the resulting "crack-age" from such a load of water so quickly after the tilling phase.

No, the worst damage happened one mile from my home.  A newly completed retaining wall, holding back mounds of earth bordering a new business parking lot collapsed.  Completely.  I felt sorry for the business owner, but luckily they were not planning on opening the first store for another week; I’m glad it happened before business began.  That kind of collapse could have meant danger for someone had they been around.

So, the rain was a bit of a mixed blessing.  I’ll need to reorganize the dirt in the bed once the seeds are up so water coverage will distribute evenly.  However, I can’t tell exactly where all my planting rows are so I’ll need to wait a bit.  There are signs of life, however, even after just one week.  Here’s the report…

In seven days, the little onion bulbs are already doing their thing. The purple onions are beating the yellows and whites, however. Show offs!
Lesson of the week for me? Rhubarb is a warm weather plant! Right after the rain we got a freeze. Will it recover? Who knows...I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
The spinach is up! Last year my spinach took almost three weeks to germinate...this year, one week! It's a different strain and I'm liking it!


My cauliflower and broccoli plants are doing "okay" but each time it freezes it takes them a bit to recover and put out new growth. This is after they sustained just one freeze. (Stay tuned next week...there's another, and another!)


Okay, remember my green onions from last week? We've eaten about 1/3rd of them and they're starting to wick out, looking for moisture. I probably only have one more week until I'll have to finish them off in some way - either chop the greens and freeze, or...something.


One way we ate them this week was to use leftover roast, quickly microwave a few potatos, chop up a few onions and turn it into a hearty stew. We ate this on a cold day with a beautiful grilled cheddar sandwich on sourdough - yum! This meal took 15 minutes to prepare from beginning to end - wowzers...that was fast.


Two days later, it was STILL cold. I try to buy bone-in, organically raised chicken breasts so I can keep the bones and make stock. I had some chicken and stock left in the fridge from a meal a few days ago, so we had another soup and grilled provolone sandwich meal. I started by chopping up two carrots. I usually chop the small end into coins, then split the larger half into two pieces so the mass of the veggies will be similar and cook evenly.


I then chopped up three green onions. They're so pretty!


Once the stock was hot, I added the veggies.'s starting to smell good! I used the large crystal sea salt for the first time with this recipe. Warning - begin using this product cautiously...I aalllllmost over salted.
An intruder! I found a bone! Get OUT of there, you crazy bone!


Yum. Soup, grilled provolone on sourdough (made with Wagon Creek Creamery butter, of course), and a nice fire. Ahhh...
Well, that's it for entry Number Two. Please come back next Monday evening when I show you my experiment (how I finish off the green onions...I'm going to create a recipe I call Green Onion Parmesan Fritti. In my head, it's working out very nicely. In my mouth? We'll see.) I'm also going to let you know if Tonks has learned the word "off" when it comes to jumping up on My Little Victory Garden. Right now, she can only think "on" as footprints all over my little sprouts show! See ya...





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