It feels like I haven’t blogged in forever. But then I looked at the date of my last post. Apparently “forever” in Kara’s world is 15 days.

There’s lots happening in the garden right now, but I’ll save that exiting information for later this week/next week. Topics include: 1) peas! 2) discovering rosemary in the garden today. It is my most favorite herb.

The first Saturday Farmer’s Market was a few weeks ago, and I was excited to see strawberries already. I got less excited, however, when I saw that they were $5 for only a little over a pound. Soon-to-be-unemployed people can’t buy $5/pound strawberries.

I was happy to learn that the same farm (Wohletz) let you pick your own strawberries, though, for $2 a pound; that, I could swing. Grandpa Wiseman used to take us to pick strawberries in the summer when we were younger, so I was excited. I was not excited about him not being there to pay for them, though. Everything is free when you’re a child.

I woke these two boys up to go with me one morning. And by “woke up,” I mean they had just gotten up. And by “morning,” I mean 11 am. I’m no slave driver. Mark (on the left) had already half-committed the night before, which means he was easy to coerce. Aaron, on the other hand, surprised me when I got to the house, stating “Yes I’m going. And I’m just as tickled as you.”

If you don’t know Mark, you should. Aaron, too. They have a Tumbler, 21 and Successful, and Twitter. They are usually funny. Both these things started because Aaron says interesting things.

Our Thursday morning strawberry picking adventure was no different. Aaron spent a majority of the time talking about wanting Taco Bell for lunch (breakfast?), telling us how tired he was from the night before, and debating whether he should/would go to his 1:00 class. 

The farm was only 20 minutes outside of town and it was lovely and quaint and quiet and not too crowded. There was a go cart like thing but they didn’t let us ride on it. Before we started picking, the woman at the farm said that we could eat a few strawberries, which we did throughout our time there. Aaron’s verdict: “These are way better than cereal.” Mark was mostly concerned about not picking more than one pound. He had exactly $2 on him, and though I said I’d cover the rest, he kept tilting his box, asking if we thought he had a pound yet. I kept repeating annoying things like “Isn’t this fun?” and “This is the perfectday.” 

While we were paying for our strawberries the wind got hold of a roll of paper towels and sent it streaming everywhere. That was a mini moment of chaos. I picked about four pounds. I delivered some to friends and froze what I didn’t think I could eat before they went bad. I stood at the kitchen sink and thought “This is the life.” Totally serious.   

Though I had frozen strawberries, they really are best fresh, so a few weeks later, I took Alison L, friend for life, with me.

Things at the farm were pretty much the same as the time before, except there were lots more children. They mostly ate strawberries while their moms tried to simultaneously push strollers through the rows in the field and take cute, candid photos with cameras with really big lenses.

I came SUPER close to picking the exact same amount as the time before, but barely missed it. That would be true skill.

PS I’m no longer a graduate student.

I got a Master’s hood.

Waited for an hour and a half with my friends so we could walk down the hill/into the stadium. I cut the professor who was hurrying me along out of this photo.

Ate at my favorite restaurant, 715, with my family and got wonderfully tasty gnocchi with local shitake mushrooms and leeks and greens.

Had a cake from my favorite Lawrence bakery.

One big “Huzzah.”

Monday Morning is a great Fleetwood Mac song. Monday morning is also when I pick up student essays. I will grade them as quickly as possible. I will submit grades. I will graduate next Sunday, one week from today. I have to be ready for graduation at 7:10 am. I’m serious about that. And then, I’ll be all finished with KU.

Even though school isn’t officially “done,” I feel like it’s been summer for some time already. Not having a thesis to write leaves one with a decent amount of free time. I’m applying for jobs and reading and writing, but one can only be professionally and academically productive of his or her own volition so many hours a day…or at least this one can only be professionally and academically productive of my own accord for so many hours a day. Here is my summertime May (and April):

Spending as much time as possible with these two heartthrobs.

Bike-delivering a rose and a clue to help my friends of seven years get engaged.

Going 0-4 with this killer softball team.

Teaching in jorts. And Instagramming it.

Attending soul concerts with the Communication Studies kids.

Biking, picnicing, blanketing in general. Phil’s birthday party might be my favorite ever.

Basically, summertime May is where it’s at. In addition to free time, summertime May is a result of not knowing when I’m leaving Lawrence. Depending on what job I get (when I get a job), I have no idea when I’ll be moving. June? July? Eh? Lawrence summers are my favorite so I’m starting early to ensure that get to have one.

Occasionally I get sudden feelings of guilt. I’m too used to working a lot. Grad school makes a person sort of robotic, but I think I’m slowly getting over it.

The garden also looks like summer already. I’m not sure how it’s been in your part of the planet, but here it’s been hot. 90 degrees every day this weekend. And rainy some days, too. This makes the garden busy.

The pea plants are really taking off. This weekend, I realized this and extended the trellis. It’s a little lopsided but totally functional. I hope my garden is always makeshift. The kale is also currently crazy, so I harvested a not literal ton to thin it out. Then I thought I had probably lost enough fluid from sweating for one afternoon and went home to lay on the couch.

Summertime may also has garden downsides. First, something weird happened in my plot. When plants get done growing/producing (or if you aren’t diligent enough about harvesting them), they will “go to seed.” You can let the seed dry and plant it later, which is cool. The spinach Clare and I planted never got big enough to eat, but has already gone to seed.  I’ve never seen this happen before. I assume that it’s because it got so hot so quickly. This week I’m going to trim the plant off and let it start over, but that’s just a last ditch effort. We might be spinach-less.

Also, the garden is on its way to getting outta control, so I have a proposition for all you blog-readers. Having a food surplus isn’t a bad thing, but it kills me to see things go to waste. Recently my friend Nic was working in the garden working and a visiting track team walked by and asked if he knew where they could get some food. He pointed downtown and then laughed to himself. They were oblivious to the quasi-ridiculous question they had just asked him. I want people to eat our food because it is good. I also secretly hope that you’ll fall in love with the garden and want to garden, too. But somehow I think you already know that.

I plan on harvesting and donating some this week, but if you are in the Lawrence area and you want food, tell me. I’m serious.  I will take you to the garden and we will pick any and all of these things: lettuce, lettuce, lettuce, lettuce,  kale, swiss chard, chamomile, oregano, mint, sage, onions. Take me up on this. I’ll probably be there anyway. If you don’t, I will just bring food to you without you requesting it. Ask around; it’s already happening. Phil got bok choi for his birthday.

Speaking of things getting away from us, these two sisters planted that carrot. They didn’t pull it up until today. Their complete shock/surprise was quite hilarious. Another happy Sunday afternoon.