So here we are with Winter behind us and new, warmer adventures rapidly descending from the hilltops to busy our time. SPRING IS HERE THANK GOD! We can all go outside and work and play without fear of Jack Frost’s evil frozen fingers. So let’s talk plants.
Lori and I had been reviewing several seed selections from various businesses all Winter and planning for what we are going to attempt this first season. Thank you www.Gurneys.com for such a great selection of heirloom and specialty seeds! Of course we are very excited at all the prospects and looking to try just about everything out there to see if it grows and thrives. We planned our main family garden to be in our top field that we had turned at the midpoint of Fall. The garden has a total of 8 rows and each row is roughly 40′ long, which will give us a ton of viable produce. We made several plan-o-grams for the garden, constantly adjusting the nuances, and settled on one at the end of Winter. Some plants grow better with each other and some clash. We learned these tricks through research and talk with the locals. In the top garden we plan to sow the following:
- Dwarf Blue Kale
- Romanesco & Calabrese Broccoli
- Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage
- Roughly 50 strawberry corn
- Crisphead Bibb lettuce
- Early Blood Turnip Beets
- Sassy & Kentucky Wonder Bush Beans
- Tomatoes!!!! (Cherokee Purple, Nyagous, Japanese Trifele, Amish Paste, Sheboyban, & Yellow Pear
- Yellow of Parma Onion
- Goldrush & Webb’s Lettuce
- Red, Yellow, & Garden Sunshine Peppers
- Jalapeno Peppers
Sunflowers will grow above the top portion of corn as a wind break (even the wind here gets crazy! 35-40 mph gusts at times will blow everything over if you aren’t careful.) Border flowers of hyssop and Bee balm will be added along with several herbs that aid certain plants.
To add to that main family garden that is full sun, we are also adding the following:
- Carrot bed below the house near our creek and middle field.
- Lettuce gardens in multiple spots to see what happens (if we grow too much, it is just extra food for the growing colony of rabbits and possible hogs.
- A massive amount of usable herbs in the beds surrounding our house.
- Pole beans on a terrace behind the house.
- Squash and cucumbers along our backyard fence (which I have yet to finish!!)
- Asparagus beds in the terraced gardens we are starting to slowing add along our middle field.
- Potatoes in the middle field close to our barn and the neighbor’s free-range flock of game chickens.
- 75 strawberry plants in the middle field.
Did we stop there this year? Was that enough work for us? Could we even handle that? Of course we kept going! We’re a little different that way. The more the merrier. We also started on our long-term plans. Fruit and nut trees are next. We planted:
- 3 Pecan trees
- 1 Almond tree
- 2 Marionberries (Think blackberries but just for jams. The idea is to transplant the runners to grow that harvest.)
- 2 Mulberry trees (these are pretty cool. They get 40′ tall and make a berry similar to a blackberry.)
- 1 Grape vine (Seedless pink reliance for the first. I will be planting 2 more varieties as soon as I make my mind up on which ones.)
- 1 Hopps Vine (For brewing beer.)
- 2 Elderberries
- 2 Raspberries
Now you are probably saying to yourself, “These two bit off more than they could crew!”, but no there’s more… We also have planted:
- Witch Hazel
- Weeping Cherry Trees
- Our tagalong Japanese Maple from Alabama.
- Transplanted native blackberries
- Comfrey for garden composting & rabbits
- Shrub willow for the rabbits
Is there possibly more that they could have planted in such a short time???? Nope. That’s it as of today but who really knows what will happen tomorrow. Our neighbors think we’re bonkers for simply working so much. They’ve never seen anyone like us really, but some of the old-timers get it. The newer generations here can be lazy. We still have a ton of room to grow more but it does take a lot of time to clear the years of overgrowth and fallen debris, sift out the decades of discarded trash, prepare the beds, build the trellises, fertilize, biochar, etc. We are trying everyday to put our roots down early.
Other things of note:
- We have at this very moment over 100 living creatures on the farm between the rabbits, chickens, cats, dog & guinea. We are also hatching 9 duck eggs in our incubator for our duck pond which has almost been completed. I can’t even remotely wrap my head around that one…
- A ring-necked pheasant just strolled by our kitchen window like it was nothing the other morning. Caught me pretty off guard because I have never seen one of those before!
- Ramps taste pretty good but I wouldn’t say that they do anything that the locals say about them being like opium. They’re just wild leeks.
- I’ll be adding new smaller posts with Trickisms (named for my neighbor Trick Allen. The stuff that comes out of his mouth is priceless! For instance, “I gotta get rid of that piece of sh!t dog cuz she don’t bark or nothin! She jus let my parole offcer come right up on the porch with not a sound! She coulda sent me back to prison cuz I’m not even suppose ta be drinkin! Damn cops got nuthin better to do that come check up on me.”
- Poison ivy here is like Kylo Ren! The force is strong with that one! 10 days of agony is all I’ll say!
- The Peach trees in our backyard are blooming and are really pretty. You have to stop and appreciate the good in the world each day.
- Helped my neighbor rig his axle back together after it “popped off.” Dude carries a grinder and a converter to power it in his car. Pretty proud moment of aid for me.
Thanks for reading!