I planted 12 corn seeds in half of the area where Heather harvested garlic today. I’m just three days later than when I started last year. I’ll plant some more each week for the next month or so as the rest of the garlic gets harvested. I love having a month-long supply of corn on the cob in late summer. Yum!
The neighbor’s hay got cut on May 17, way earlier than usual. I wonder if there will be a second cutting this year.
The garden is mostly planted now. Transplanted: hops, kale, peppers, and tomatoes. Seeded: beans.
Grant’s garden is also started: Old Mother Stallard beans and a couple dozen watermelon seeds.
We transplanted a rhubarb plant on the north side of the house.
The cilantro that overwintered is blooming, so we should be able to harvest coriander seed soon. Heather checked a couple of garlic plants, and they have about four plump cloves per head. Hopefully by harvest time on June, they’ll have more cloves, but they’re looking great.
Karen the sheep was late to lose her winter coat this year. She still has a small patch on her back.
The mushrooms got “planted” (or whatever the word is) today.
Heather seeded rutabagas in the garden about a week ago, and they’re sprouting.
We had another cool, wet week after the hot day. The pear tree has just finished blooming, and the apple tree is in bloom.
We transplanted celery in the garden. It’s our first time trying to grow it. We also transplanted leeks.
We transplanted kale today on the south side of the house. We’ll see if it gets too dry this summer. “It’ll be fine, it’ll be fine,” Heather says just now.
I’m enjoying harvesting dandelions this year. We didn’t even have to plant them, and they’re one of the first harvests of the year.
It has been a very rainy month, but then yesterday was a high of 88°. The plum tree is done blooming, and now the pear tree is blooming.
The onions are growing really well. Heather planted a few more a couple days ago.
Today Heather transplanted cabbage, and she seeded some bush beans. It might still be too early for beans, but we’ll see.
Three artichoke plants survived last summer and through the winter. I finally mulched them with a thick layer of wood chips. Hopefully that will help them out this year.
Heather started parsley in trays a month ago, and it finally sprouted (parsley takes a while). She also has a bunch of lettuce starts waiting to be transplanted.
Heather planted potatoes on March 18.
This season has been cold and wet, and we think our about two weeks behind normal. I’m trying to pay more attention to the environment than the calendar to know when to plant things. Our plum tree is finally blossoming, and dandelions are starting to bloom. The pear tree and the young fruit trees are still at bud stage.
Heather planted peas yesterday. She also transplanted kale from the cold frame to the open air garden.
The onions are taking root and starting to grow shoots.
We’ve been slowly harvesting “perpetual spinach” (a type of chard) from one of the cold frames. I’ve also enjoyed harvesting the abundant dandelion greens.
Grant and I spent a couple hours spreading wood chips to double the size of his garden.
Heather and I planted about 10 feet of onions on row 1 of our garden.
We have a second cold frame now. This one has an auto-opening top based on the temperature.
The weather was cold and snowy in the second half of February.
I did winter pruning this week. Aggressive on the grapes as usual, lightly on the pear and plum, and almost nothing on the young fruit trees we planted in 2019.
We cleaned up the garden and put on a layer of wood chips today. And I gave the lawn its first cut of the year.
We also built a cold frame out of an old window we removed from the house and some scrap wood.
I had to split the tractor again. The clutch pressure plate levers all broke. Weird. I was quicker at it this time, though. It’s running nicely now.
We were fortunate to get another load of seasoned firewood, so we’ll probably end up using maybe two cords this winter. We’re using more now that we have more. We have lots of green wood to cut and split, including some humongous chunks of maple. That’s great wood for burning. We’re also gradually figuring out how to manage fires in the woodstove. It seems like it’s best to get it up to a high temperature (600º F) before switching the bypass damper and activating the catalyst. Otherwise, it smokes.
We’ve checked out a couple farmers markets last weekend and today to see what kind of produce they’re selling this time of year so we can improve our year-round gardening. Leeks, garlic, onions, potatoes, kale, radicchio, and a great find: January king cabbage.
Heather planted garlic all over the place last fall. It’s looking great so far.
Lots to catch up on:
The garden was later than usual this year but quite productive. We had days in the 80s into mid-October, so the harvest kept coming. I picked an ear of corn a day for dinner for about two months. Heather made lots of pasta/pizza sauce and salsa with the tomatoes and peppers, and salsa verde with the green tomatoes when the frost came. Heather planned a second crop of potatoes after harvesting the first, and she got a great second harvest.
Grant’s garden in the pasture was a huge success. He just covered the issue head with lots of wood chips during the winter, then planted in late spring. He had lots of corn and zinnias, and he was harvesting melons into early November.
The deer finally discovered our garden a few weeks ago. They’ve decimated some of the greens that we would like to harvest through the winter. I guess we’ll have to come up with some defenses.
Heather has planned a bunch of garlic, boy in the garden and next to the pasture. We’re going is not concerned by gophers again next year.
It looks like the commercial hazelnut harvest was good this year. They harvested the orchard behind us at the end of September and made a second round in mid-October just as the rain was coming .
We started using our woodstove in mid-October when weather abruptly turned from hot to rainy. (Then the rain went away again, but the cold stayed.) We have less than we would like for this winter, but it is enough to make a difference. Plus, when we get installed upstairs in mid-December, we hope that will help a lot. We bought a catalyst for the woodstove, and we’re gradually learning how to use the stove efficiently. We should have plenty of wood for next year, though. A lot of it is pine, and I wish we had more hardwoods, but it’s all free, so we’ll take it. We have probably split and stacked about two cords so far, and we still have those big chunks of pine to cut and split.
Speaking of splitting: I’ll probably have to split the tractor again. The clutch is slipping, and I’m guessing one of the springs on the clutch may have broken.
This week a tree service dumped off some huge chunks of pine. We’ll use the wood for heating next winter (2023-24). We probably have about one cord of seasoned wood ready for this winter. We don’t know how much we’ll use, since it will be our first winter with a woodstove.
Here’s our entire plum harvest for this year:
But the blackberries– wow! It’s a bumper year!
The pole beans are late but looking really lush:
The neighbor’s hay was cut yesterday, a few weeks later than last year. I’ve heard this is a bumper year for hay. If my allergies are any evidence, I’d say it’s true. The neighbor’s fence took a bit of a thrashing yesterday, too.
I planted the last batch of corn today. I think it might be too late, but we’ll see.
We have a new “garden tool:” the drone. Now we can get super accurate shots of the garden throughout the season. This one is from June 16:
We had a super rainy winter and spring, somewhere around double the average. But all of a sudden the rain stopped on June 20, the day before summer.
I pulled out the soaker hoses today. They were chewed to bits by rodents. I ordered new ones.
I planted the first 8 corn seeds. I think I’ll do 8 more each week for the next few weeks.
We think spring is finally here. We’ll have highs in the 70s and lows around 50 this week.
The potatoes and peas are doing well… and of course the garlic. Everything else is small, even the cilantro, broccoli, and kale.
Sometime in the fall, Heather obtained a boatload of manure for the garden. Actually, not a boatload; more like a yachtload. Today I used the tractor to scrape off a few cubic yards of it and spread out the remainder across the garden.
Heather is super excited about having seeded her first indoor starts for the season: little gem lettuce, red Russian kale, mizuna, romanesco broccoli, Chinese broccoli, and green cauliflower. She made some garden markers, too.
Today was pruning day. This is the first year that I haven’t done major renovations on the plum tree. The pear tree also got a light pruning as well as the young fruit trees. The grapes got the usual treatment.
After a record-breaking hot and dry summer, this winter has been really wet. We had a week or so below freezing between Christmas and New Year, so hopefully that was sufficient for the plants that need it. Otherwise, temperatures have been pretty normal. January has been pretty mild.
Heather moved the herbs from row 1 of the garden to the south side of the house.
Good news from the beehive: so far, the bees have survived the winter! On warm sunny days such as today, they venture out of the hive.
I finally got around to addressing the coolant leak in the tractor last week. I decided to try the easy option first and pour a bottle of Bar’s head gasket sealant into the radiator. I’ve cycled the tractor through warm-up/cool down a few times, and the amount of steam coming out of the exhaust seems to be diminishing. I also changed out the milky engine oil. If this fix doesn’t work, I’ll have to take the engine apart and install a new head gasket.
First corn harvest today!