Tom and I and the kids decided to take a run to the Winter Greenhouse day before yesterday and get some shrubs for landscaping the front of the house. We got some orange tinted potentilla, an American Cranberry bush, and some herbs for my herb garden that will be near the house -- the herbs for the Medicine Wheel garden that I will put in the field by the high tunnel will come from Horizon Herbs and I have yet to sit down and decide what I want to get. Anyway, after we returned home I went out to the high tunnel to check on everything and OH MY! most of the tomatoes and at least half of the peppers were severely wilted. I don't know what happened. I don't think it was the cold because the eggplant was untouched, and I don't think it was too hot because the lettuces and cabbage seedlings were untouched. I was able to salvage about 1/4 of the hot peppers, but all of the sweet peppers were done for. I was going to yank all of the tomatoes, but I decided I would try to re-grow them and so I cut each plant back to a live leaf bud where the stem was still strong and we'll see what happens. No early produce for the farmers market again. DRAT! In any event, after I went back to the house I started another hundred tomatoes. Better late than never, I guess, and no use crying over spilt milk!
I'm doing pretty good with the hoeing this year. I have five of the apple trees done and all of the perennial bed -- except for the asparagus; that is going to require a 2-3 day renovation. My dad gave us an old lawn mower that is smaller than the BCS brush mower and easier for me to use to keep the grass cut in the perennial walk sections. I am trying to teach Ed how to use it. For what is left of the grass to cut I will need to use the brush mower as the grass is too tall for the smaller mower. Now you can see how the garden is starting to take shape. It will be a beautiful garden. Ed is a big help to me.
My arthritis is killing me and I've lost 10 pounds already. Thank goodness for Arnica and Hypericum homeopathic remedies! Hopefully I will be able to lose the other 10 pounds before my next doctor's appointment.
My other event was the disappearance of Chardonnet, Lara's rooster. He has simply vanished and I expect that he has gone to chicken heaven. Chardonnet was a mean cuss (he'd always try to spur me from behind), but he was my back up rooster and had a pretty good Dominique form and a nice comb. Lara was disappointed but I told her we would get more chickens next year after I build a bigger coop. I am looking forward to building my own breeding flock. I want to have my flock NPIP certified.
Most of the next batch of seedlings in the basement are looking good. There is Blue Ballet, a small heirloom Hubbard squash, Sugar Loaf Delicata -- not germinating very well, Perkins Long Pod Okra, Mandan Bride corn and Russian sunflowers, Forellynschuss speckled lettuce, Hannah's Choice Melon (not a heirloom but I couldn't resist trying it because my niece is named Hannah), Moon and Stars melon, Charentais melon, and Green Nutmeg melon, Champion Collards (I don't think the collard plants I left in the field over the winter will send up a seed stalk so I'll have to try again this year), Boston Pickling and Lemon Cucumbers, New England Pie Pumpkins (my own seed, yeah!), Big Moon giant pumpkins, a flat of Genovese Basil, Round Mauve eggplant, and I've planted Bill and Linda's eggplant in a separate pot that I have on the south side of the house where it will get the most heat and sun -- don't see it sprouting yet, but I expect it will soon; Golden and Black zucchini, and then, of course, the latest tomatoes and peppers. The apple trees have leafed out but there are no blossoms yet and according to my Dad, there will be one more frost after the apple trees blossom, so I expect at least one more hard frost. The last hard frost last year was June 9th, and I will be watching the weather carefully -- I don't want to repeat my losses of last year!
Today, Tom helped me build a trellis for the five Doyle's Thornless Blackberry plants I bought. I put them behind the house where I could keep a closer eye on them as they are expensive plants. They will fill in and form a wall extending the Wealth Area of the house -- good Feng Shui. Slowly but surely I am filling in the back of the house to disempower the downward slope there -- bad Feng Shui.
Well, I've rambled on long enough tonight so I'll talk to you later.