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Kip Anderson
Gardener Kip Anderson

June: A Look at What's to Come

Kip gives a taste of what the gardener can expect at the end of this busy month
by Kip Anderson

June is upon us, and in Massachusetts that spells a flurry of activity — doing tasks that must be completed in the small window of opportunity between the last frost and the torrid days of high summer just ahead. These tasks include setting out all the warm-weather vegetables and ornamental annuals grown from seed, before they outgrow the limited space of their original containers. Sometimes I have to move plants up into larger pots — wasting time to buy time — but I would rather not.

By the end of the month most of the critical work has been done, but that only signals that the time has come to start sowing fall root crops, late brassicas, second crops of cucumbers and beans, and so on. With a large, complicated vegetable garden, perhaps by August the gardener can catch his or her breath. Right now, however, I have as little time to write this column as you probably have to read it, so I'll leave you with a few hints of what, if all goes well, you can soon expect.

CATALOG FOR GOURMANDS

According to the garlic-lovers'
Strident manifesto,
The sauce that nearest Heaven hovers
Is a pungent pesto.

Potatoes are the peccadillo
Closest to perfection:
A weary worker's fluffy pillow,
Evening's predilection.

Of all the many summer squashes,
Nothing beats zucchini
That farmers, in their best galoshes,
Harvest firm and teeny.

A fresh-picked head of homegrown lettuce
Puts to shame the refuse
In grocery stores, and should indebt us
To our green-thumbed nephews.

There's nothing like a chili pepper
For a stuffy sinus,
As long as Scoville's in the upper
Nineties, plus or minus.

Cilantro is a nasty herbal
Seasoning so awful,
Reactions go beyond the verbal,
Verging on unlawful.

A cornucopia of treasures
Waits the avid seeker
Of gustatory joy who measures
Flavor by the beaker.

—C. B. Anderson

Many apologies to all of you who are fond of cilantro. I am told there may be a few billion or so people who lean that way.

Kip Anderson has been the Victory Garden's head gardener for over 20 years.

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Published August 31, 2007