We had two days of very hot (90 degree) and humid weather which gave way to frost warnings overnight and temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s… cool, breezy and perfect for outdoor work. (What work isn’t outdoor-related this time of year any ways?!) Long days and lots of hard work, but the payoff is three-fold… great exercise, getting fresh air AND harvesting healthy organic food!
My dear mom helped me transplant (for the FINAL time!) over 1000 strawberry plants into the bed I had prepared last year. I had torn up a chunk of pasture and covered it with black plastic last spring, let it steep all summer and had hoped to have completed the transplanting of the strawberriy plants to the new bed by autumn last year. Needless to say, it was overgrown with weeds, which we had to pull first, and after that and the planting and the mulching, the plants are adjusting well and are setting out many berries. It was an awful chance to transplant them when we did, but I think we did it just at the right time, should get berries within the next few weeks. Whew!
We also got the main berry garden weeded completely, aside from the Johnny-Jump-Ups and Money Plants that seeded themselves throughout, and I moved several blueberry bushes over to make room for Sweet Corn and Pumpkins. All seems to be coming along well, and it is such a relief to have that particular garden in order at last. Yes, I know it will not stay this tidy, but it’s a good start! The only major chores to do out there now are to add more tie-ups to the raspberries and to mulch everything. The mulching happens a bit at a time… when I mow, the clippings go in between and all around. Not only does this keep the weeding to a minimum; it helps retain moisture and amend the soil at the same time. When the barn gets cleaned out in spring and fall, this combination of shavings and manure gets added as well.
I still have not gotten all my vegetables planted, but hope to get that accomplished this weekend and will finish up with the mowing tonight after the two grandbabies go home. Then I need to head out to the old stone wall in the woods to gather some flat stone to make a short border for the small kitchen garden I’m putting in near the porch closest to the kitchen! I am now telling myself that when these things are completed… there will be NO new projects/ gardens or other such brainstorms anymore. It is enough to maintain and work at what is here.
However, I have been thinking of building a small outbuilding for the ducks and geese and moving it and them out into the berry garden for the summer for bugging and weeding purposes. I have Cayuga, Muscovy and Runner Ducks, and they are all such great buggers and weeders, and they do not scratch and trample as ruthlessly as the chickens and guineas. (I always read where folks advise to put guineas in your vegetable garden to control pests… the writers all claim that guineas DO NOT scratch like chickens do, but this does not hold true). Mine have trampled and eaten spinach plants, rhubarb, catnip, kale and lettuces, andthey scratch terribly in the dirt; they’ve dug up plants and pecked out onions and leeks and just leave them to die. I find them just as destructive as chickens, if not more so. I would never consider letting guineas in my garden intentionally! Scoundrels!
Well, the kids are arising from naps, so I will close. It has been a long time since I’ve included a recipe, so the next post will include one or two. Til then, happy June! ~Laura of Wildenblue Farm