My favorite season is now. I will say this every time a new fruit or vegetable ripens and becomes available, either in my own urban farmette (as I like to call it), or at the farmers’ market. So today is my favorite time of year because I can pull crunchy radishes, lettuces in every shade of green–and a few reds– and a spicy array of herbs right out of my garden.
And soon, thanks to the new hen ordinance in the city of Champaign, my favorite day will be egg season. I amalready dreaming about poached eggs on thick beds of greens–add a Stewart’s bagel, and some chevre from Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery…what else is there? Peas. Then there will be peas. Sugar snap peas, snow peas, any kind of peas. The point is that every time it happens, every time a new thing becomes available, I am just as excited as I was the first time–at that moment, it really is my favorite thing.
As a transplant from California, it has taken me some time to sync up with the seasons. And I still don’t understand why winter gets two slots. Seems kind of unfair. But every time (this is my third) spring (short) and summer (not long enough) come around I begin to get it little bit more. Why this place is amazing. It is the food.
We are surrounded by a small but mighty cohort of diversified farms in central Illinois, and what they produce is incredible. And as a result of knowing what is possible, I have expanded my own garden every year since I arrived. Less lawn, more food.
This year, my garden got the gift of compost and pest control. The newly adopted ordinance allows residents in the city of Champaign to have up to six hens. My enthusiasm overflowed, and I (well, I sort of helped) built a coop and a run, and went to get chicks. Six chicks, because why would not I not take full advantage! The little urban ladies started out in the upstairs bedroom, because the polar vortex was still in full swing, but as their feathers grew in and they started to look (and smell) like the awkward pre-teens that they were, they moved to the garage. They have now settled into their lives in their pinterest worthy coop as small chickens.
And I am patiently waiting for the first egg.