Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Spring in the garden and a visit to a small farm

This year, the garden got off to a slow start this year as we had a cool, often wet, spring.  Because of my studies, I didn't have time to start plants from seed as I usually do.  However, there are many more varieties of heirloom plants to choose from in local nurseries and by mail order than a few years ago.  Although the harvests won't be as diverse as I'd like, I was able to get a variety of tomato, peppers, squash, eggplant, basil and cucumber seedlings.   I also directly planted seeds for beans of all kinds, carrots, and greens. The last few years have provided enough garlic to last will into the winter months.  However, the mild winter disagreed with my fall-planted garlic, so, sadly, I will not have a large garlic harvest later this summer for pesto making.  I will be lucky to get half a dozen bulbs and will miss making a garlic braid to hang in my kitchen.  Each year's weather brings different successes and failures which is why I try to plant a variety each year - if one crop fails, hopefully, there will be plenty of something else. (We still have a couple of butternut squash left from the more than 20 from last year's harvest.)  Gardening certainly makes me appreciate how much work goes into producing our food.

Here are some photos of the garden during the last week of this spring.  Now that the summer heat is on, things have taken off, so I'll post some updates again soon.
Two of the garden beds with tomatoes, basil, and beans; a fig tree, and squash blossoms

Some of the flowers and ornamental plants tucked among the vegetable beds

Recently, we had a real treat in attending an open house of a friend and his wife.  They have about 7 acres, and have been setting up a small farm.  The chickens have the nicest coop I've ever seen with a cupola topped with a weather vane and a solar powered door to allow them easy access to the yard.  There are two of the cutest baby goats that enjoy the run of the paddock and climb on anything they can, plus beehives and guinea hens.  There is a puppy that is a working dog in training to protect them all, along with a few border collies (both theirs and ones they foster before they find a forever homes) for keeping things rounded up.  A vegetable garden is in its first year with plans for a field of cutting flowers for the next.  It was such a relaxing day spent in the fresh air and a bonfire to end the evening.  We went home relaxed while the dogs were tuckered out from running in the fields.  It has me dreaming of having a bit more land of our own.

Seeds and fig trees (planted 2 years ago) -
Seedlings: and