Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Garden Update and Photo Dump

We have planted almost the entire garden. We've turned the area into 10 large beds. We direct seeded carrots, chard, corn(50) potatoes (50), onions, bush beans, pole beans, squash, pumpkin, canteloup, lettuce, nasturtium, and sunflowers. We also transplanted the seedlings that we started indoors several weeks ago including basil, tomatoes, eggplant, few broccoli, and squash. As we planted each seed or plant we added some organic composted cow "moo-nure." The soil is so sandy we have added our compost, composted horse manure, and some wood chips as well--anything to add nutrients and help the plants absorb water. It was not nearly enough for the whole bed but it will help. I will be planting another round of corn and beans today and tomorrow. I also continue to start seeds indoors. I figure we'll have backups in the case of bugs or disease. If you remember last year we had a terrible battle with squash bugs that killed lots of our zucchini squash plants. (You can see that post from last year here) Having extra plants will allow us to fill in the spots that come open as we harvest the rest of the greens as well. I took tons of pictures...
A greens harvest last weekend

The bed after first planting

Baby squash transplant

Tomato transplant

Aphids. I sprayed soapy water and rubbed the leaves and most of them are gone now.

Basil transplant


Bush bean sprouts. I had to take a picture of this last week. I have been so amazed by the power of seeds lately. I am fascinated by the way we take dry seeds that have been in a pack for who knows how long, put them in some soil, add water and they change so dramatically. The beautiful, bright, first leaves come out of the the tiny seed. I love it. These sprouts are about 2 inches high now.

Eggplant that was started from seed

Greens ready to be harvested

Girls help fill seed trays with soil. Yesterday we started more basil, eggplant, tomatoes, sweet peppers, and parsley.

We had a little scare this week with the late frost. We knew we were taking a chance when we planted 2 weeks before the local frost date of April 15:) We were prepared though. We mulched around each plant and on top of some. We also put cups or tarp over the plants. Everything turned out fine. Even our fruit trees weren't effected since it was a light frost. You can see in this picture all the wheat straw and in the background the tarps that were over the beds.


William Kruidenier said...

Great work! Can't wait to see the pix six weeks from now. Love the picture of Ellen in the straw hat!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this Jen. It will be cool to look back once things are prospering...if they do...I hope they will...oh the stress.

It's going to be exciting. I am so glad the girls are learning to grow as well. The picture of them filling the seed trays reminds me of all the good education they are getting under your tutelage.

As always, grateful.


Lesley and Jason said...

Once things prosper??!!! Daniel, they already are...look at that table full of greens. We have only had one salad from our garden so far...and what a wonderful salad it was, but your greens are producing spectacularly! Can't wait to see the garden in full force this July when we hopefully pass through.

Keep up the great work and enjoy the tasty rewards.

Love you all.

Anonymous said...

Lesley and Jason (in response to the above),
You are absolutely right. Those greens are great. That was our winter harvest which is still producing, but tailing off. And every bit is so good. When I reread my post I can understand how it might have sounded illegitimate (the worry). Here is what I was thinking (to motivate the worry a little):

We do have some very serious issues:
1) Very sandy soil. As the heat picks up and the Spring rain pulls back we are at risk of not being able to sustain moisture levels in the soil.
2) Nutrients. Our sandy soil is not conditioned for gardening. That could take years. So again, there is real risk that things won't grow as they should or could in better conditions.
3)When 1+2 reduce the health of the plants they become more susceptible to pests and disease.
4)No money. Both these problems could be minimized with money, of which we have very little.
So, you remind me that we have a lot and have come a long way. But as we learn more and watch the tenuous nature of growing under our conditions I can't help but wonder how it will all turn out. And, probably because we have invested SO MUCH MORE time and energy this year the worries grow proportionally. We lose more when we lose.

What assuages my worry to some degree is the resilience of nature itself. It generally defies my expectations by being much tougher than I imagine. And of course I have great teammates who are willing to work hard at sustaining a healthy garden as best we can. Fortunately, also, there are many ways to mitigate the effects of 1-4 that are organic, sustainable, cheap, and anti-corporate, pro-community. And that is real hope.


PS-you all are passing through in July? That would be the BOMB! And, that should indeed be a great gardening time, right in the peak. Tell me more about this passing through. What can I do to make it happen? ;-)