Busy as a...
Around here, weekends aren't so much about not working as switching gears. Day job concerns are put aside to focus on nurturing and developing our little hobby farm, the goal of which is twofold: 1) Creating beautiful, relaxing garden spaces and 2) Developing the resources to grow as much of our own food as possible. The projects we work on also double as therapy from the stress of our day-to-day lives as well as good old fashioned exercise. Farm work is not for the weak; or at least, not for long.
Since rain is expected this week, we wanted to get the last of the spring wildflower fields mowed before they became too soggy; that, along with mowing the "lawn" (I put that in quotes because it's about 4 acres in total) took most of the day Sunday. Just before dusk we rescued 10 or so monarch larvae from an untimely death at the hands of assassin bugs, but I'll do a separate post on that later.
In the veggie garden, the first harvests have started coming in. Last week we dug two beds of garlic, which, after being cured, will be braided and pickled. Where the garlic grew, we added a generous helping of homemade compost and planted two varieties of okra seed, which should sprout in the next couple of weeks. We also picked and froze the first batch of green beans. This weekend we dug approximately 10 lbs of potatoes (we'd only planted one bed; I think next year I'll expand it to two), and picked the first of the peppers and pickling cucumbers.
After a short lull during which the plants grew and put on fruit, things are about to get extremely busy again in the vegetable garden. Still, we don't mind: it's fun to learn so much about growing and preserving our own food!
A few photos of the weekend's work and of how things are progressing:
The wildflower field, in full bloom, April, 2016.
The wildflower field as it looked after the spring bloom.
After mowing everything back. Mowing reduces the number of rats and mice (and therefore snakes) we see around here. It also makes for nice places to walk.
'Kentucky Wonder' pole beans plumping up nicely.
'Aunt Mary' corn nearly ready to harvest.
The potato harvest. This year we planted 'Yukon Gold,' 'Red Norland,' and 'Adirondack Blue.'