Friday, June 19, 2015

"Panick planting" is over. Whew!

It happens every year. Winter finally gives up its icy grip and gives way to Spring. During this time I get a little panicked. Time to get the gardens planted. There is always so much to do before planting can begin mostly because every fall I lack the discipline to get the garden cleaned up and ready for Spring. So, frantically I get the cleanup started, pulling out the old and dried up tomato plants...pulling the lifeless green beans from the lines....making sure to save whatever seed might have been left. Occasionally finding a small hand held garden tool that was dropped in a corner, with a promise that I would remember to put it up for winter. Then I get the plants and seeds out and hurriedly set them in their places. All of this goes on over the course of a few weeks. Once everything, or most of everything, is in the gardens....I can sit back for a minute and sigh. I patiently wait for the seedlings to poke their little heads through the dirt so I can lay the barn gleanings around them helping to keep the weeds down and the moisture in as it also fertilizes with each rain or watering. This is where we are now...the waiting game. Our strawberry patch did pretty well for the first year. We have eaten our fill and I was able to put a few gallons in the freezer. Now I just have to keep up with the weeds and guide the new shoots to where I want them to grow, in the rows not in the walkways. Next year the rows will be a lot fuller and I hope the strawberries will produce enough to take some to the farmers market to sell. That is my ultimate goal. The potato's are now at a point where all I need to do is keep them watered, and wait. I have been successful at keeping up with adding the compost and soil. They are now about 3 ft tall and just starting to set on blooms. My work there is done, until early fall. The green beans and Lima beans are reaching for the sky. Growing so fast it is hard to keep up with them, making sure they are climbing on the lines I have in there for them, and not just twisting on each other into a tight knot of vines. It won't be too much longer, we will be picking beans and the canning will begin. The Cauliflower is doing pretty good I think. The first few heads I had left out too long, and the sun turned them a bit yellow. After much research I found out that I should have tied the leaves up to cover the heads, so now they are tied...hoping that the last few plants out there will give us beautiful white Cauliflower heads. The Brussels sprouts are getting bigger. I have trimmed the lower leaves a few times already, I can see little "bumps" where the little sprouts are starting to form. I can't wait to have fresh Brussels sprouts. Last week we finally finished up the spring garden, and was able to get 3 rows of beets planted. Before I could get them planted I had to relocate a few blackberry vines that had sprouted out of their intended area. The smaller spring garden is completed with planting. I had a few small areas in the larger garden that begged me to plant the other day I grabbed a hand full of carrot seeds and planted them next to the cucumbers. It is not a large area, however it will give us a few pints for stews and such later in the winter. Yesterday as I walked through the garden, pulling a few weeds here and there, I noticed a few small green peppers and tomato's. I had to smile at the thought of fresh tomato's still warm from the sun, the juice dripping down my chin as I snack on one while working in the garden. This is the time of year, I can rest a bit...waiting on the gardens to produce. Then will be "canning season" This makes me happy as I see the shelves of the pantry fill up with our hard work. Yes, there are many "seasons" on a homestead....planting season, growing season, canning season, and WINTER. We are now in my favorite part of the year....the "lazy days" of summer. In between the planting and the canning..we wait.

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