Early Spring

Let’s ease back into this with something familiar, that I know everyone likes: more pictures of food. Or in this case, pictures of things that are going to eventually be food.

The truth is, it’s hard for me to think too hard about food in February or March. The grocery stores are still full, the restaurants and carts are serving, and I’m cooking as often as ever, but it’s not quite the same as walking down the street and seeing food sticking out of the ground, which is a not uncommon occurrence in Portland. In the right season, anyway. A friend of mine was heavily influenced to move here during one particular visit from New York as we were walking down a residential sidewalk and he abruptly stopped and exclaimed, “Wait, is that rosemary?!”

“Yeah. And that’s mint, that’s sage, that’s parsley and that’s thyme. And that bed back there is fennel and leeks.”

“And people just grow that stuff out here by the sidewalk?”

There are plenty of things I miss about New York, but the quality of the edible gardens is not one of them.

I still have those sorts of realizations myself pretty frequently — tiny epiphanies that the world is benevolent enough to have devised biological entities that can craft scraps of air and soil and carbon and nitrogen and water into something as delicious as a beet or a peach or a leaf of bitter lettuce. And that I can watch it happen.

Anyway, that’s what today’s (this month’s, this year’s) photos are of: new things growing in my house. Not even edible mostly, just reminders that it’s that time of year, when, entirely without effort or intention on my part, things decide to start growing again.

These are seedlings of Pimientos de Padron, which I’m hoping to grow a bunch of myself and spare the $7 or whatever it costs for a bowl of them at Toro Bravo. It’s still in the 40s outside, but I set the pot on my radiator and tell the seedlings they’re in Spain. So far, it works.

And this is Tropical Houseplant That Lives In My Bathroom. It doesn’t do much: no growing, no shrinking, no drooping, no decaying. Except that all the sudden, with no prompting or special treats, it’s making two new leaves. Weird, right?


4 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Nice photos. What lens and camera are you using?

    • Carl,

      Thanks Preston. The camera’s the same EOS Rebel I’ve had for 5 years, with the standard lens. I think they mostly come out well because I shoot them in the early morning on overcast days. Everything looks extra significant in that light.

  2. Heidi,

    What is the name of the houseplant that lives in your bathroom. I have the same one, but mine is dying & I can’t ID it.

    • Carl,

      No idea, Heidi. It’s always been just Tropical House Plant to me, which used to make me feel like an irresponsible plant owner, until I realized that Tropical House Plant probably doesn’t know my name either.

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