Here at 46.94°N it is Onion Day! Today is the day they will receive 15+ hours of sunlight here and begin to bulb. Happy bulbing to you! and yours!
This is one of my “Keepsake” onions, they and “Keeper” wintered over quite nicely.
So did my Ailsa Craigs, except for the odd occurrence of much smaller onions on the west side of the bed, all the way down the whole length. What the heck?
You haven’t seen me on the blog much Dear Reader because we’ve been whacked-out busy and the Market Garden business, according to plans, isn’t quite there yet, lots of time getting things in place. Our efforts this spring have been focused on the perennial side of life: raspberries (above),
blueberries, figs (oh wait, figs are just for personal consumption), honey berries, aronias…that sort of stuff.
Here’s a little funny that happened during raspberry planting. When my raspberry plants arrived from Sakuma Brothers via my son (in-law) Justin, I wasn’t quite ready to plant them. So I put each of the four varieties in their own tub and for the label I completely covered the packing label they came with with packing tape and wired it on to the tub. Smart right?
Well while the tubs waited under the trailer awning it was a smart idea, but when the last two tubs stayed out in the field because their portion of the bed wasn’t quite ready to prepare, the tags faded…
Yup, nothin. Neither of the two tags, neither side, no tale-tell lettering to give a clue, nothin’, nadda, zip.
But one of the two in the tubs had really put on the sprouts and so had one row of raspberries in the bed (yes, I know, weedy bed). And a young lady at Sakumas confirmed my suspicions, the primo cane raspberry are most likely the ones sprouting like crazy.
Mind you two of the four varieties are primo cane and two are flora cane. Early I planted the Caroline (a primo) and the Tulameen (a flora) they were marked and I know which is which. The two I had left were Autumn Bliss (primo) and Cascade Delight (flora), marker faded. Does it really matter?
Well no, but I did want both floras in one bed and both primos in the other. I had already planted the upper, drier, halves of both beds and now that the lower bed was dry enough to plant I wanted to finish.
So I went for it and now all the raspberries are in the Market Garden and I have some extras to pot up, hopefully they are who I thought they were.
Speaking of the Market Garden…no actual Market Shed hours have resumed for selling produce from the M. Garden, Dirt’s students are snatching up all the eggs and have spoken for taking any produce as it comes.
That was a God-send earlier this spring when we established that I have customers I don’t have to be available for, even one day a week! It allows me to keep my grubby clothes on, my head down and work like a crazed person.
But not so much that I haven’t had time to enjoy the finer things in life!
We had what I hope is our last frost Friday morning, which is a good thing since my corn is up! I planted it last Saturday and yesterday (Saturday), exactly seven days later! I saw the first little green tops. (in the catalog days to emergence is cited as 7-14 days, mine…7 days exactly!)
It was risky planting in the ground so early, but one of Dirt’s sheering customers just up the street had bragged about having gotten his in a couple of weekends ago, and you know me and competition Dear Reader (if you haven’t realized it, two things spur me on, “you can’t do that” and competition)
Any way, risks and crummy looking sky aside, I planted the first two beds of corn for the year, covered them with plastic at night and now… they are up!
Last weekend, as you surely know Dear Reader, was the Kentucky Derby…Big Hats and Mint Juleps! It was established that horse racing is one of our favorite sports to watch on the television. You watch for four minutes (or a little longer if you catch the parade to post and the awarding of the roses) and get back to work. If you time it just right, it can coincide with a regular break and then there is zero guilt for sitting and watching.
Why do I mention the Derby with my planting corn?
Last weekend I realized that Kentucky Derby weekend is the perfect weekend for planting corn. Really? Why? Well the Kentucky Derby is all about big hats and mint juleps. What goes in a mint julep? Besides mint!? Kentucky bourbon of course. And how do they make that? With corn!
The boys were out last weekend. Kai helped Dirt put in all the fence posts for the fence between the main pastures and the Market Garden. Very important to coincide with my planting corn, since last year the horses kept breaking through the electric fence once the corn was up, it kept getting trimmed, not so great on production.
Kai helped Dirt lay out all the posts in line with the Market Garden, not my crooked ditches, he helped mix and pour cement around the corner posts, and he drove the Lil’ Orange Tractor around.
The fabric went up on Sunday. Hip Hip Hooray! It is none too soon, should have had a field fence up last year to keep Miss Marvelous and her mother out of my corn. But at least it is up at the beginning of the big garden season this year!
Remember last year, or was it the year before, any way Dear Reader, remember when I had to put dragging fields because of killdeer nests? Well this year they did it again, made a nest right where I was going to work.
This nest is in between two raised beds. If I were to till again, which I was planning on to plant more corn on one side and more taters on the other, the tractor tires would go right over the nest. I don’t need a government forced environmental impact statement to know I now will wait for the twenty-eight days it will take her to hatch them before I use either of the two beds.
The nest was discovered by Michelle while she and I were planting the potato beds near by.
While we were planting the killdeer were spazing out like they often do, so we knew we had to be close to a nest. Michelle began to reminisce about the many hours she spent as a child looking for the killdeer nest. And sure enough before we were done planting the two beds of taters, she had spotted exactly where the mom had hidden the nest.
The plastic and my watching for the corn to come up hasn’t seemed to bother Missus Killdeer. Mister and Missus Crazy Pants have already managed to hatch three young killdeer to add to the chaotic population in spite of my dragging and spreading lime on all the pastures earlier this spring. And now, sitting on four eggs right in the middle of two of my drier Market Garden beds. That’s 4 hundred square feet of garden she is tying up!
I’ve decided on no more potato beds and locating two more corn beds else where in the garden. Now both of the Killdeer beds will be Brussels Sprouts, which go in after the first of June or later. By then the chicks will have hatched and I will have my garden rights back.
Michelle and Ruby have been coming out to the farm to work one day a week, they are working off the price of a butchered lamb, garden plants and supplies for their garden and extra produce. I love the arrangement!
And Ruby loves the animals!
I gotta go Dear Reader, but first speaking of saying good-bye… they say that La Nina is gone. Gone for good I hope, at least for a few years. Last year “they” said she was gone and then she returned a month later. That wasn’t really gone then was it?
They say this year she was to be gone by the end of April. Seems like she left out this way because the first week of May was her throwing a tantrum as she left and closed the door. It was cold and wet, no, really really really wet! But now it is so incredibly delightful, Bet is fantasying about a drought that dries up the backyard pond so that we can do some reconstruction out there.
We’ll see. For now however it is nine o’clock on the morning of Mother’s Day, I’ve had a lovely time writing (something I miss and wanted to do today) and now it is time to go plant beans (something I love to do even on Mother’s Day) and then take a bath using my new shampoo that is supposed to cure what iron algae does to your hair and then enjoy my grandchildren and a little of Dirt’s finest barbecue, pork ribs and beef roast, oh yum!