Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Around the Homestead- Garden Season, Progress and Planting fruit trees.

Spring is always such a wonderfully busy time of year. It has been several years since we've had any real time to do real things on our property. For a while there was the financial struggle, then Kenan's glass business really started to do well, but there just wasn't enough time to do all the work that needed to be done. Then in 2013, we lost everything in a fire and had to start completely over. 

We are beginning to feel somewhat recovered, and are really trying to catch up and make some major progress this spring. Broke my heart when we had to clear some land, but now we have a great place to plant an orchard! Put in 6 new fruit trees so far. Kenan has been busting his butt to get stuff done so i can get planting!

The gardens have been tilled and fenced. This is garden #3. It use to be my cold crop garden, but after clearing some of our land it is now getting full sun. So i will probably plant mostly beans and squash in this spot this year, still trying to plan out where everything will go.


Garden #4 is inside the goat field. It's been tilled and fenced, and potatoes have been planted. This year i put in blue, purple, red, yellow and white potatoes.  i'm going to put something in with them, possibly beans and onions, but i haven't decided what i'm going to plant in here yet. Last year i planted corn and squash in this bed, and the temptation for the goats was too much and they broke down the fence and ate all of the corn right down to the ground. They didn't bother the squash at all though, so i may try planting squash as a border. 

The tiered beds have been tilled and expanded. :) Always expanding.

Garden #2, is my early spring garden. There are 3 small raised beds in this garden. One has asparagus, garlic and lettuce. Another is strawberries and garlic and the last one i put in beets and carrots. My soil is so full of clay and rocks, my root veggies never do very well.  So i thought i'd try them in the raised bed.  i also have sugar peas planted along the fence, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, garlic and kale in this garden.  i planted packman broccoli, which has always done really we for me. i also planted Romanesco (fractal) broccoli, Sicilian violet cauliflower and purple sprouting broccoli. i tried some of these last year, but they didn't do well. i got an earlier start on them this year and am hoping they will well.

i've got all kinds of pants started inside my little cheap greenhouse.  The wind rocked it pretty good last week and the shelves fell off, so i had to restart a bunch of tomatoes.  i reinforced the greenhouse to hopefully keep it from rocking as much and ziptied the shelves, so they can't fall off as easily. When i first saw the greenhouse i was devastated, as it looked like i'd lost almost everything. However once i started lifting up the posts i found i was able to recover almost everything.

First garden harvest was this week. Most of these baby greens came from my hoop house (pvc hoops covered in plastic). As i was weeding the lettuce i picked and  added some dandelion and chickweed to the salad. Also picked a couple asparagus, and added the sweet violets for color. 

Besides getting the garden tilled and fenced, husband put in a rope swing for the kids. He  transplanted several nice peach trees, and moved the Nanking cherry bush which had been dug and dumped on the edge of the driveway during construction.  

He is also working on cleaning up the land that was cleared, and has already started planting fruit trees in what will hopefully eventually be a small orchard. We planted several apple trees; Winesap, Stayman - Winesap, Red Delicious, and Honeycrisp. We are planning to add a couple more including a pink lady and a Gala. We also put in Tartarian black cherry and  another Moonglow pear tree.  We have another cherry tree, two plum trees and 4 blueberry bushes that need to be transplanted into the new location.  Once the cleared land has been cleaned up we'll be putting in more blueberry bushes there.

We also planted a new Clematis vine, Crepe Myrtle bush, Wisteria vine, and 2 new Lilac bushes. We are just starting to work on the landscaping a bit.    We're having a week of rain, so everything is really just starting to come up and grow but we have to put our outside work on hold a bit. i'm already loving the progress, though. We are getting our chicken coops set up better, so that we can travel a bit without worrying so much about them.  The way they are set up now, they have to be closed in every night, or we risk predators getting in and killing them. So even an overnight trip is stressful. i'm hoping the new improvements to the coop and feeders with make things easier, and allow up to travel a bit again.  i love the springtime.  i love all the new growth and transformations. It always feels like the beginning of everything.

I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring. Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth? ~Edward Giobbi


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