Monday, May 21, 2012

May 21, 2012

Standard garlic, the size of elephant garlic.
Garlic curing in the sun.

Garlic, our eighth harvest of the season (brussels sprouts, spinach, lemons, greens, radishes, cherries, broccoli), is curing in the sun until it is dry and odorless; cured garlic lasts up to one year in a dark dry pantry. 

Our landscape is changing:  spinach is gone and has been replaced with 7 wells for pumpkins and winter squash. 

The pumpkin patch (peas to the left), mulched with straw.
A few volunteer sunflowers are upward of 5 ft. tall.
Last year, one of our Jack-Be-Little pumpkins (the kind that fit in the palm of a hand) developed a hard, gourd-like shell; it took a mallet to smash (we were half expecting it to be the fake plastic kind that decorate wreaths); we saved its seeds to plant this year hoping we will get more like it.  That kind of shell outlasts the fleshy varieties (though it's not edible like fleshy varieties) and can be dried and decorated.  We're trying Prizewinner and New England Pie pumpkin varieties again this year with a new variety, Superfreak:  medium to large pumpkins that are warted all over, but fully edible.  Hope this is a better year for pumpkins, and we might just set a record-breaker!  The entire pumpkin patch is mulched with wheat straw saved from last autumn's bales.

Blueberry bushes covered in bird netting.
Blueberries and raspberries are ripening; we covered them in bird nets.  Peas will be our next harvest if everything goes as planned; pods are already swollen.  Little green tomatoes have set, corn is four inches high, and the only part of the garden yet to plant is a second set of sweet corn the first weekend of June (late for us, but it helps to extend the harvest).

We organically fertilized everything as part of general maintenence this weekend.  We feel like we have a better control on weeds this year, and we're ready if the summer turns droughty - a network of soaker hoses reaches about everything growing, and is set on an automatic timer, saving us time to enjoy the good stuff.

The last time we showed our strawberry bed, these plants were barely poking up out of the dirt.
Bush cherries in the background.

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Dedicated to the responsible production and preservation of healthy home-grown food to the glory of God. Isaiah 55:10 The rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. Organic, or not? We try to raise vegetables organically, using compost and manure. The addition of chickens to our hobby farm means plenty of organic nitrogen to compost! This site gives credible reference to planting information contained in the Farmer's Almanac (