Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Independence Days Update

Sharon over at Casaubon's Book is starting a new Independence Days Challenge for anyone who would like to sign up, though it's run pretty informally. I'm not going to keep count, personally, since it's really an ongoing thing and the counting just adds pressure.

It's been two weeks since I last posted an update, and we've gotten lots accomplished. And many more things have been left undone due to rain, illness, and just lack of time! We had a quick cold, which knocked me out of commission for a couple of days, not to mention a week of 90° + days. Though I gave it a valiant effort, working in 90° weather with a fever of 102° just didn't cut it. I gave up and sat on the couch watching Battlestar Galactica, my new favorite netflix get.

I also managed to travel up to Lebanon, New Jersey, to give a talk at an unschooling conference, which was loads of fun. I got to talk farming with folks from New York state and a woman from Trinidad y Tobago. Very cool. Hopefully we'll have lots of farm visitors over the next few months. I learned about qigong and even had a brief healing massage. Yet again I discovered the truth of the notion that we are always exactly where we need to be. I got home in time to harvest for my CSA and transplant some more herbs to my new front garden before the rain set in. Whew! It's been a full two weeks!

Plant:
Transplanted: chives, sage, thyme, salad burnet, yarrow, heartsease, echinacea, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries to the front garden. Set in roses that arrived and some rhubarb that I bought on the spur of the moment at the feed store. Divided and dispersed wormwood, bee balm, lemon balm, horehound, feverfew, and mullein in the front from last year's plantings. I had more stuff planted, but unfortunately Jim, in his overzealous desire to try out his new tiller, tilled it under in the kids' garden where I'd healed them in last year. *sigh*

Seeded in flats: Amish paste tomatoes, basil, dill, parsley, borage (both white and blue), calendula, lemon grass, nasturtium, asclepius, winter savory.


Harvest:
Asparagus, lettuce, swiss chard, spinach, kale, carrots, radishes, turnips, endive, tarragon, sage, cilantro, thyme, sorrel, chives, eggs, milk.


Preserve:
Still using down stores. Kids found some frozen strawberries, which were a great treat as we impatiently watch the blossoms turn to tiny green berries. Made butter.


Prep:
Continued to work on front herb/ edible garden, spreading ~5 yards of topsoil/ compost mix to ammend the soil and mixing peat moss where the blueberries and cranberries will grow. Ordered 2 varieties of cranberries, 3 varieties of filbert, 20 asparagus crowns, weeping mulberry, and 4 hops vines from Edible Landscaping in Afton, Virginia. My patio peach was out of stock, unfortunately. They're a great little company that I've been ordering from for about 6 or 7 years now, and they've always made good on their plants.


Manage:
Potted up about 150-200 tomato plants and have about 100 more to go, but I ran out of yogurt cups.

Found the market garden again, which is being taken over by chenopodium seedlings. Guess what CSA will be getting this week? Also sprayed and covered crops to combat those damn flea beetles.

Cook:
The first of our asparagus has come in, and we've been loving every bit of it! In fact, I loved it so much that I added 20 crowns to my order for the front garden. The ferns are so pretty, and one can never have too much asparagus!

We had chicken, asparagus, chevre sandwiches on homemade bread—all zero mile. The chips are store bought, as we've run out of our storage potatoes and the store bought potatoes just don't fry up well for chips. Or anything much for that matter. Yuk. I'm always reminded how easy it is to eat seasonally when you're used to fresh food.


Add:
CSA delivery to four families: mixed greens, spinach, chard, head lettuce, radishes, carrots, turnips, spring garlic, chives, thyme, tarragon, cilantro.

Shared bedding plants and berries with neighbors.


Learn:
Learned about qigong, an Eastern meditation through movement practice that focuses on energy flow in the body.

7 comments:

Country Girl said...

Great progress. We plan to put in asparagus this year. Don't look forward to the wait until harvest.

Christy said...

That is a lot of top soil/compost to spread! I need to spread a bunch myself. Did you make the mixture or find a place that sells a mixture? I was just going to go with straight compost because our clay is so bad!

Ren said...

Is it not too late for asparagus? I had thought it was and planned to put in a bed next spring. Your weather is similar to ours though...so maybe I can still put some in? Hmmmmm.....

MN_homesteader said...

Where are you getting your crowns from? We searched and everyone appears to be out for the year :(

pelenaka said...

We're having a very warm Spring this year which means that I am torn between "farming" chores & rehabbing our old house.
Good job on transplanting & potting up the seedlings!

SoapBoxTech said...

Ah to live in such a climate....

Danielle said...

Kim, the asparagus I put in this year will have to wait three years, as the crowns were only a year old. I'm very glad we have our smaller asparagus bed to tide us over!

Christy, yes, it was a lot of heavy dirt, and some is still sitting in the driveway because of all this rain we've been getting. And of course, what little boy can resist playing in mud? So, it's now compacted beyond recognition for the most part. Still, it'll help if I can ever get it spread!

Ren, I'm definitely pushing the envelope on the asparagus, but you're a whole zone ahead of us, I think.

I ordered the asparagus from Edible Landscaping in Afton, Virginia. There's a link in the post. I planted them along the backside of the front garden where they should make a pretty backdrop for the lavender and rosa rugosas.

Soapbox, every time I think I want to be nearer some real mountains, I repeat the mantra, "growing season, growing season, growing season" to talk myself down. ;)