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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Season's Beginnings II

 One of the most exciting things happening in the garden this spring is the plethora of blossoms on some of my fruit trees.  I'm so excited to see what kind of a harvest we will have.  This is a pear tree.
 Those beehives in the background may be part of the success this year.
 A promising bud on an apple tree.

 I decided to try for myself the newly popular honeyberry. I purchased three bushes. There are two things that make this seem like a good idea.  Honeyberries are extremely cold hardy, reaching into zone 2. Also, unlike blueberries, they don't require a highly acidic soil. We have alkaline soil and, despite my efforts to change the pH of my soil, my blueberries haven't thrived. I'm looking forward to seeing if this berry will be a good fit for us.
 More Apple blossoms coming on.
 The elderberry bush is thriving!
 This old girl is quite the trooper. Puffle is five years old (as are my five other hens) and still looks lovely. She lays eggs and tenderly tends them. I'm still trying to figure out how to put the young pullets in with the older hens.  I have a few more weeks to figure it out.
 This is the first year that our plum tree is going crazy with blossoms. Its hard not to get excited!
 A shot of the other plum varieties grafted onto the same stock.
One of the currant bushes....

There is so much happening, I know there will be many more photo opportunities soon. - Nanette

Season's Beginnings

These colors, though! We had our first harvest yesterday. It was small, but exciting. (Its seems  early for lilacs, but I'll take them anytime!)
 The produce transferred beautifully to our breakfast this morning. I made these omelets from our own chicken eggs, a bit of orange pepper and the asparagus and chives from yesterday's harvest. At the end I added a bit of goat cheese and some vegetarian sausages. The crazy thing is the deep yellow of these eggs.  Each dish represents one whole egg and two whites, and it was still this rich color!
 I finished adding on to the asparagus bed this year. It has only two rows and I'd love to add more, but there is no more room. The first row is well established now, this being its 3rd season. It has just begun to push up spears, but I'm already impressed with the size, quantity, and quality.
The rhubarb bushes belong to our friend and neighbor, but we're allowed free picking. Looks like it is off to a great start.
 The starts under the lights are doing well. I was delighted to find a liquid kelp to add to the watering can. Kelp stimulates root growth and makes a strong and richly colored plant.
 These onion starts need to go in the ground tomorrow, if possible. I hope I can untangle them without too much damage!
 This is the garlic bed I planted last fall, mulched with leaves. It is loving our warm days and growing heartily.
 I'm experimenting with potato boxes this year. I spent the winter months pouring over information about potato boxes and have noted that the results are mixed. One tidbit I found is that you have to have an indeterminate potato. German Butterball is one variety that is indeterminate, so that is what went into these boxes.  We'll see how it turns out. (Many thanks to the Wood Artist for making the boxes for me. There are four more boxes waiting to be added as the spuds grow.)
Just in case, I also planted two rows using my favorite method. I lay the cut potatoes on the prepared bed (that is a light sprinkling of ash on the row). After this went a thick layer of well rotted hay and some straw. As they grow, I'll add compost and straw. I love how easy this method makes harvesting potatoes.  You just rake away the toppings and there are the little treasures. Then you till in the toppings and voila! You've just added a ton of organic matter to your garden. 

There are other exciting developments around the garden, but this post is long enough.  I'll have to do a "Part II". - Nanette

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