Wow -- I didn't realize that it has been a month since my last post! I sincerely hope that all of you are safe and well!
I have been really busy -- I've already lost 15 pounds -- and finally finished all of the planting yesterday. We have been blessed in the last three weeks with more rain than I've seen altogether since we moved to northern Wisconsin, and hopefully the seeds are off to a good start. Now that the planting is done I want to cut the grass around the field sections and use it for mulch over the seedlings. The potatos already need to be hilled, and the corn is crying about the weeds. When I planted I made sure to keep the distance between rows wide enough for the tiller to pass through so weeding should be alot easier to do. If the rain keeps coming regularly, I will be able to spend more time on repairing and building the field fences than hauling water to the plants. That will be another blessing. Last night I dreamed that fist-sized hail stones pummeled my garden to pieces, and when I woke up (quite distressed), I fetched my dream book and looked up hail, but the dream actually meant that abundance was coming my way, so maybe it is an omen for a good harvest. I sure hope so.
Here are some pics of what the garden areas look like:
Section One (Hops Section):
I decided to plant pumpkins in between the hops that have poles. I need to install poles for the new hops and since they are 1st year plantings, I will just hoe around them to keep the area clean.
(You should see my stack of empty seed packages!)
Back Yard (in back of the house where the garden boxes are):
Berry Knoll (Forest Garden in the woods beyond the grass in the front yard):
I have cleaned up the berry knoll in the forest garden out in the front yard and added more fence posts around it. I need to staple wire on the posts to finish the fence and add some compost to all of the shrubs. The bushes look great! I dug up the elderberry bushes from the side of the driveway because Tom kept running them over and breaking them, and I transplanted them into the berry knoll. They seem happy there. It looks like this will be a great year for berries. I plan to take Eddy out with me into the woods this summer to pick all that we can.
I planted the new pear and Honeycrisp apple trees on the West side of the house. I thought that the deer would be less likely to find them so close to the house, but I was wrong! The other night I saw a young buck come up out of the marsh and go straight to one of the pear trees and start nibbling on it. I jumped up and ran outside (in my night gown!) and shook my finger at him. "You leave that pear tree alone!" I said. He looked at me just like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and then he bounded back down into the marsh. (He was probably freaked out by the sight of a fat old woman in a night gown LOL.) When I next go to town I'll have to buy another roll of chicken wire and put fences around all of the new trees.
My neighbors have blessed me this year with a trailer of earthworm castings from Lynn and Ira Follen at Earthworm Organics (thank you Lynn and Ira for bringing over the castings and for the loan of your trailer), and all the mink manure I could ever want from Dale and Cathy over at Camp One. It has been hard work hauling the manure by the trailerful and then forking it onto the field, but when I think of how much the soil is improved by the manure, I don't mind the work at all. Thank you, Neighbors! Hopefully, we will have a trailer of our own soon to be able to haul more manure and stack it in a pile somewhere in the field to compost more fully. It would be wonderful to put a couple of tons down on the field this Fall. I put the earthworm castings on the poorest soil and already the worm count there is much improved. I'm so excited! I still have about three days worth of shoveling my own compost and taking it out to the field to do, and that compost is going to go in the orchard and perennial sections around the fruit trees and plants in that area of the field. The pile of chicken manure (from when I last shoveled out the chicken coop) will go to the new compost pile location. There, I'll bury the old chicken waste that's been composting in a garbage can since last year and the new waste from when I cull the flock in a couple of weeks under the newest batch of chicken manure from inside the coop, and that will start my new compost pile.
Well, that's enough gabbing for now. Be well!