All the broccoli has bolted. I don’t know why. It was looking so dark green and lush, but even before this week I noticed how their stems seemed awfully narrow, not like the shelaighleighs you see in the grocery store, so I was already worried. Then today we noticed that every single of my dozen or so plants had shot straight up and put out a little floret. They looked like little green sparklers.

We snipped those off this morning and ate them. Angela thought they were tasty. I thought they tasted a little weird, like natural gas. Mara said “it tastes bolty.”

When broccoli gets anxious.

When broccoli gets anxious.

The lettuce seems to have the opposite problem. It has slowed way down. It won’t bolt, (it’s Slo-Bolt, bred to hold back from bolting) but it doesn’t seem eager to leaf either. Mara and I tried some, and she gave it the nod. It tasted like lettuce, I guess.

The peas still look good and are starting to flower, but still, I’m very discouraged. I was really looking forward this year to growing all these different vegetables, and I started early with seed, and I did everything by the book. I even thinned scrupulously (lettuce and broccoli, not the peas), despite the psychological agony thinning induces. But we had this crazy spring with early heat and late snow and torrents of rain, which all seems to have combined to bewilder my little seedlings. A neighbor Angela talked to says she thinks that the broccoli couldn’t figure out the weather and finally just said “the hell with it, I’m going to seed.” And she thinks the lettuce is getting too much afternoon sun, of all things.

Meanwhile, folks who blithely picked up vegetable starts as an impulse buy from Home Depot and Fred Meyer are probably set to enjoy bumper crops (the weather is now beautiful). It brings out my cynic, as you can see.

But that’s why I’m doing this, and that’s why I’m writing about it. It’s an important thing that I need to incorporate into my life — doing all that I can do, the best way I can, and then accepting the way things go.

Sometimes things go bolty.


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The Great Seattle Gargoyle Hunt


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