Spring Break with Simon

Had a really great week. Simon came up and spent it with us on his spring break. He and I went fishing every day; twice to the surf and three times kayaking in brackish water. We hit the Tomoka River, Bulow Creek, and the back canals of Tomoka State Park. The fishing itself was ok – not good – but we did manage to hook and land several nice fish. Ditto the surf although in Flagler the cross currents were strong enough to make fishing a bit of a chore. We both got sunburned and have achy muscles from so, so much kayaking. At least I admit to being sore. And of course we took time out to do a crabbing venture so that he and Nancy could have fresh blue crab appetizers before dinner one night. The great thing about Simon this year is that he crossed over solidly into being a fishing companion in the fullest sense from being a student fisherman. He’s a 100% help in moving boats, loading, unloading and splitting all the overhead associated with a trip. That cuts my work at least in half. The other nice thing is that I am now coaching him on subtle techniques rather than the basics of how to do this, that and the other thing. Those have all been mastered. The other large advantage to fishing with Simon is that every morning Nancy fixes a nice lunch in a cooler. That never happens when I’m by myself.

The garden is now at full size. I tilled up the last few hundred square feet using my new tiller. It worked like a charm and I am so glad it’s part of my arsenal. I reckon the total garden at 1250 SF give or take a few. The new summer stuff planted over the past few weeks is taking off. Believe it or not there are wee tiny crooked necks; micro zucchini; and teeny weeny cucumbers on the respective plants already. That’s about a month after planting the seeds and 2-3 weeks after transplanting them into the garden. I really wouldn’t have believed that if I hadn’t seen it myself. The last of the broccoli should come out this week and we ate the first cabbage from the winter planting last night. The cauliflower will be pickable this coming week. Each time I pull out one of the winter veggies, I replace it with a summer variety and we’ll have a few weeks where both the winter stuff and the summer stuff are hitting the kitchen table. I planted corn seeds about 3 weeks ago and it’s now all standing nearly a foot tall. I planted the rows about 2′ apart and have put winter squash in between the rows. That would be varieties like butternut, acorn, spaghetti and on and on. I have six different varieties of hard squash living in the corn patch. Simon and I kept two fish and buried them next to two tomato plants in a scientific experiment. We want to see if there is any noticeable difference in growth rate with those two plants and also whether the fruit will taste fishy. We could have anchovy flavored tomatoes, pizza ready tomatoes right from the garden. The trick might be keeping them buried until they disintegrate and away from the possums and raccoons.

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