These days, we’re pushing to get crops planted. Now that the cooler weather seems to be passing, we dodge the rainy days and get as many seedlings transplanted into the ground as possible.
That holds true for the home gardens as well as the farm. Once we pass that “frost-free” date of May 15, a mad rush ensues as we release seedlings from their plastic prisons and give them room and water and sunshine and fresh air so they can stretch up as well as sink into the ground.
I spent a couple of hours at the new garden this weekend in order to get caught up on planting. A couple flats of seedlings had been lingering on my doorstep, getting hardened off, and it was definitely time to move them into the plot assigned to them. The tomatoes took up one entire plot, between the Rutgers and Amish Paste seedlings I had brought and the variety of heirloom seedlings contributed by Jen’s father-in-law. (Jen also tucked the small basil starts in between the bigger tomatoes.)
I planted the small onions — Red Cipollini and Clear Dawn — that I had started earlier this year. Tucked in between rows of broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage, they settled in under a light blanket of grass mulch. Here’s hoping they prosper.
While Jen weeded other areas of the garden, I hilled the potatoes, just as Dave had shown me at the farm. Knowing that those have grown so quickly gives me a sense of hope for this plot this year — these six rows should provide a good crop.
I also extended the garden plan into the back section, which was not as well tilled. This area, designated for my grain and bean and seed crops, has already seen an invasion of weeds as well as alternated between mud and caked soil. I’m not as thoroughly optmistic about this section, but it won’t stop me from trying. At the opposite end from the oats I planted a couple of dry bean varieties (Jacob’s cattle and Soldier), a winter squash, millet, and flax — still to come are flint corn, more dry beans, sorghum, and buckwheat.
In the meantime, older crops continue to grow and start to flourish. The greens, shown at top, are ruffling out their little leaves more each week, and the root crops may need thinning fairly soon.
Everything needs to be mulched, of course, which we will work on as we are able — depending on weather and how much grass gets scooped up. Jen has already developed a morning habit of heading out to visit the garden and do a little work for a while, though I still need to work in more regular visits.
Planting will continue, especially over the next couple of weeks. We have loads of seedlings still to plant at the farm, and given my big box of seeds at home, I’m sure I can keep going in the gardens. And now that the gardens are greening up with fresh produce coming in, the joy of homegrown food really begins.