Monday, May 16, 2011

Planting season 2011

With blackfly season halfpast, all the seeds in the ground, and a half-inch of rain tumbled down to get them started, we're basically sitting around drinking lemonade and sunbathing. But when we're not busy doing that, we're weeding the garlic and blueberries, building and fixing horse equipment, waiting for calves to be born, deworming sheep, working on the barn roof and floor, doing chores, and plotting what we will do differently next year. So we're not exactly lollygagging around, but I, at least, have a little more time for contemplation than I have had over the past few weeks.

One "how did I get here?" moment hit me yesterday: sitting in the kitchen of a house on a farm in Maine of which I am part owner, pre-chewing boiled roadkill deer for my eight-month-old daughter who is standing on my lap, crowing at me, and driving a matchbox army tank across my face. There's a snapshot of life for you.

But to back up a couple of weeks, before the grass really started growing and when the cows were still in the barn, Tyler, April and May did a lot of chicken manure spreading in the pastures and hayfields. Here are a couple more shots of that activity.

Seth's Herculean task for the spring was twofold. With some skilled assistance he planted both one acre of high bush blueberries for a future pick-your-own patch (that's near on 800 blueberry bushes) and about four thousand young trees in his tree nursery.

The Demere great-grandparents are back in town!

...and the blackflies are vicious. The sun-hat-bug-net combo is effective but not popular with Ada Ruth, who has three tooths (and countless opinions).

The winter vegetable CSA planting is complete save 750 cabbages, 100 kale, and 50 broccoli that need to get transplanted out in two or three weeks. We've had a dry spell for the last week and a half and got the last of the seeds in the ground just as a thunderstorm opened up on us yesterday afternoon. Red and white onions, leeks and garlic are all growing well, as are celeriac, Brussels sprouts and a first round of kale, broccoli, and red cabbage. The winter squash; sweet, dry and pop corn; potatoes; carrots; beets; parsnips; rutabaga and dry beans should all be popping up out of the ground in the next week or so. In the home garden we recently transplanted out all our cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. Elsie's early plantings of spinach are getting big enough to eat and the lettuce is not far behind. Edible podded peas are also in the offing; rhubarb and asparagus seasons are coming to a close. As I walked down the driveway with Minh last week, he gave the perfect guided tour/summary of the season: "New spruce needles coming out. Sugar maples. Rasperries are blooming!" And this morning he and I checked out one more sign of the times: a big snapping turtle laying a nest of eggs, somewhat inconveniently, in Lucretia and Oai's pile of compost they purchased for their garden. So that's the word from the field, until next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment