It rained all day yesterday, that gentle rain from heaven that was keeping gardeners indoors recovering from their labors. And that is what I would have been happy to do except that I happened to look out the window at the garden and see, to my horror, that the spinach had gotten so big it was starting to look like rhubarb. And some of the leaves were getting those pointy ends that herald the bolting of the crop.
There was nothing for it: I would have to go out and harvest the spinach immediately if I wanted a good supply of vitamin A next winter.
In between showers I marched out with two big baskets and a huge stainless-steel bowl. The grass was soggy, and the wooden boards that constitute the paths between the vegetable beds were slippery. I crouched down and started picking.
You know how spinach leaves are, all crinkly? Every one of those crinkles was full of rainwater, and pretty soon I was drenched up to my elbows. And that is when the wind picked up, heralding a cold front.
It came whistling in from the west, shifted to the north, spiraled west again, then south and east. I tried to position myself between the wind and the basket of spinach, but every time the wind would shift it would blow half the crop out of the basket. I ended up keeping one arm, fingers spread, pressed down on top of the spinach in the basket, and picking with the other.
I eventually made it back into the house, the spinach beds looking suitably diminished. Now I had a mountain of spinach in my hands, to be processed while all its nutritional virtues were still intact.
This is when I wish I had an industrial-size kitchen, with tub-sized sinks, and a half dozen helpers, one to wash, one to drain, one to keep the water boiling. One to keep putting ice in the cooling bowl, one to drain again, one to fill and label the freezer bags and one to take them down to the freezer in the basement. I guess that makes seven. I wish I had seven helpers.
But instead I did it all myself. My mountain of spinach shrank down to ten small freezer bags. Then I went to yoga and spent the entire class breathing “into” my aching back.