Everything seems early again this year. We are responding to Mother Nature’s calls of Spring even though it is only February. I feel sorry for my friends back East in all the cold and snow. I hope this blog gives them hope for planting.
Everyone has spring fever here at IL Fiorello. We are busy getting the garden going again and redoing the herb garden to supply our culinary classes. Pruning in the groves is ongoing and is the topic of a future blog.
The garden beds are being filled with rich compost and seeds are flying around as staff members share planting ideas. So far we have in the ground: cabbage, radishes (both red and white), beets, lettuce (five kinds), leeks, carrots, turnips, chives, kale, mesculin, chard, fava beans, snap peas, broccoli, and cabbage. The rhubarb is starting to get full and raise its head. Nothing better than strawberry rhubarb pie in the Spring. I am sure we will continue to plant more varieties of vegetables. Nick, our assistant miller and gardener extraordinaire, says that there is nothing better than fresh vegetables right from the ground. We all agree. We are all “vegephiles”, people who love vegetables. Our Executive Chef is also looking forward to doing a class on vegetables from the garden.
Joseph, our master gardener, has been busy replanting the lemon grass and dividing the heads. It is lovely and fragrant, and so delicious in soup and stews. We have also trimmed the lavender and are trying to root sprigs to plant some more. We are considering an organic certification but still have to work out how to control the weeds especially in the new small trees. Watch for sunflowers to poke their heads and turn toward the sun this summer.
Recently, Elisabeth brought back garbanzo beans from Italy, and they are getting pre-soaked before being planted in the garden next to the Mill. She returns to Italy tomorrow to live in Sicily and make wine at a natural winery on the slope of Mt. Etna. She will blog from there to keep us updated on how to grow Nerello Mascalese wine.
Plant and enjoy the benefits of living in California. We are all very lucky to have this opportunity. Come see our garden grow.