First Harvest

By Roger Erpelding
Contributing Writer

It was pouring rain when I arrived home from work yesterday, but by 6:30 the clouds had broken, and the rain had stopped. Bob had stopped by to read Hawkeye magazines to me, and we figured it was a great time to take the hammock from the garage to the back yard, before the rain started again.

Once the hammock was placed, it was time to check the herb garden. As I had thought, the chives were ready for harvesting. Some of the stems were about a foot long, and it was definitely time for a haircut with a sharp scissors. There was plenty for us to put on baked potatoes for Beth, Bob and me; plus plenty for Bob to take home to share with his family.

The taste of anything fresh from the garden after a long winter is outstanding. The chives were fresh and flavorful. And with the rain, I can harvest again soon, as they are “cut and come again” herbs.

The chives are easy to distinguish. They have long, round leaves. At this point in the season, they will be standing straight up. Allowing them to continue to grow would have meant that they would have flopped soon. No harm really, except that they flop down in the dirt, and take more time to clean once they are picked. And if you have any doubt, cut the tip of a leaf, and smell the oniony aroma. A little taste is fun as well.

It is just the first garden harvest, not the last.

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