The communist garden plot is coming along nicely. So far I have harvested rhubarb, lettuce and spinach. Sadly, the asparagus crop was a disappointment. The asparagus spears were thin - many of them not any thicker than the double pointed needles I use for knitting socks. I think the bed needs another year to get fully established.
The artistic members of our garden committee, along with some help from their grandchildren, painted these rocks to mark the rows.
This Mr. Potato Head marker is my favourite.
However, this is the one I want to talk about.
Last week I picked some lettuce and spinach, washed it, and put it in a bag in the fridge. I have a fair amount of lettuce from my own garden boxes, so didn't get around to eating this mix until Tuesday night. Within minutes of having dinner I started to feel unwell, and continued to feel horrible for the rest of the night. In fact, I felt exactly the way I do if I eat quinoa. But the thing was, I hadn't eaten any quinoa.
When I got up the next morning I decided to do some Googling. I had remembered a couple months earlier feeling like this after eating a spinach and chicken salad for dinner. At the time I thought it might have been because the spinach had been sprayed with something (it was the tub of organic baby spinach from Costco, but you never know). It put me right off buying spinach at the store, so I haven't eaten much spinach since then.
I was shocked when I read the Wikipedia article saying quinoa is closely related to beetroots, spinach and tumbleweeds. I checked some other sources to confirm this, and yes, it's true. How weird is this? How do allergies suddenly pop up in one's life? I think it's interesting that tumbleweeds are also in that list of things related to quinoa. I had horrible environmental allergies when we lived in Kamloops, and tumbleweeds are a part of the landscape there. Did constant exposure to them set me up for these allergies? All I know is I will now avoid spinach like the plague, which is too bad because I love spinach. Has anyone else had this happen - developing an allergy in adulthood? It has left me feeling rather reluctant to try the other thing listed as related to quinoa - beets. I feel like my world will be just a little bit smaller though without the possibility of a good bowl of borscht.
While I was focused on taking pictures, one of the two resident swans decided to come over and investigate. He/she stood just on the other side of the gate and would not budge. These signs aren't kidding.
When the swan attacked me last winter I had jeans on, so no real damage was done. This time I had on shorts, so there was no way I was going to try to get past it.
It took a full five minutes for that bird to decide to move. It could have at least had the decency to look up so I could get a good picture!