This year we are putting in a large plot of corn, similar to but not quite as big as the plots we used to put in decades ago, for mass quantities of roadside sales. I know people love grilling, steaming, and roasting fresh corn on the cob in the summer, and we will be able to provide for that or for the canners/freezers this year.
Our friend Claire Hanley sent us some blueberry and raspberry bushes and some rhubarb crowns. These plants came from Nourse Farms, which we had good luck with last year (gooseberries/currants, all survived and some are already flowering). We put the raspberries out in our row in our field, a couple replacing a few that did not make it over the winter (though almost all of them did and I’m thrilled to see that). The blueberries are potted up into larger pots to grow out a bit before being moved. This makes 33 brambles and 11 blueberry bushes for us. Rhubarb’s been put by one of our old compost sites – they also sent us an extra crown, so there’s 4 rather than 3. Here’s to their success and to offering more stuff in the future! We will not have any bramble fruits this year, as the plants are still establishing, but I do expect to have some gooseberry/currant fruits. They’ll probably only be in enough quantity for me to eat and hoard for myself though. 🙂 All things in their time.
All my ‘new’ fruit trees survived the winter, except for the 2 apples which were girdled by rodents. We replaced those 2 with trees of the same varieties, and also put in a second Golden Delicious. All of the trees from last year are flowering, too, as are the ‘baby’ peaches I started from seed approx. 5 years ago. I hope they come out anything like their mother… perhaps we will see. My serviceberries are so loaded with blossoms that you can’t even tell they have leaves.
We are also planting more varieties of vegetables than ever, as we have added a second garden plot around the same size as the first, attached over by the corn plot. We are adding things like unusual melons, ‘Wonderberries’, a third type of potato, 2 more types of onions, different greens (Bull’s Blood beet greens, Purslane, etc.), and an expansion of our planting of our peas and our sunflower landrace. The chickens oh-so-love the seedheads in the winter.
Speaking of chickens … when introducing the new birds to the old, we had a bad incident with the mature hens ripping one of the new ones open! Our Commercial Black, ‘Tux’, was the victim. I didn’t know if she would survive at first – the wound was huge and hideous. However, determined to try, I grabbed some regular old cotton thread and a sewing needle and stitched her up (it’s all we had). I used some flour to stop her bleeding. We kept her inside and applied Neosporin cream. Long story short, she took out her own stitches and now you can barely tell where the wound even was as feathers have coated the area again. I think she’ll have a slightly crooked tail for life, but that’s fine as long as she seems happy. We penned them up apart from the old birds for a while, and yesterday was their first time back ‘together’ again. The youngsters are significantly bigger now, and there were no incidents, so here’s to hoping for a harmonious coop.
We will be selling wild leeks/ramps for the next few weeks. $3 for a bunch of 8-10 plants. I realize this is on the costly side, but each plant patch has to be traveled to, and each plant harvested and cleaned by hand/individually, using selective methods to ensure sustainability… and that’s what we have put to consideration.
There is a good chance of frost for the weekend according to the weather guys, though there is disagreement as to how cold/how hard the frost will be. I am hoping that it somehow avoids us, because I really do not want to lose all the fruit the millions of blossoms herald, although we have lost all our fruit for the past 2 years so it wouldn’t be unheard of unfortunately. We will definitely be covering our tomato plants, and have suspended new planting until the weekend passes. 🙁