Consecration Acres

"If ye labor with all your might, I will consecrate that spot that it shall be made holy."

Catching up

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I keep on having my weekends evaporate before I get to recording the week’s progress. I’ve got to get it down now before it all becomes even more unwieldy in my head.

Garden report: The potatoes went in the week before last and are starting to make an appearance. Yay! We had some potatoes back in OR that were so good that they didn’t need any butter or salt—this is my dream for these spuds…that and that I will successfully cure, store and grow new ones next year from our seed. Aim high!

The first round of tomatoes went into the first 18” bed today. I miscalculated or mismeasured and I have room for three more plants. They were a little dried out going in, but I buried them deep and watered them well. I need to read up on pruning and managing determinates vs indeterminates again. Hopefully, once I’ve done it I’ll stop forgetting…

I pulled out the last of the radishes today. Wow!   I did not know that radishes could get so enormous! We had a black variety that came in a mixed packet that grew bulbs larger than my fist and greens longer than my arm, and spicy as all get out. Those will go into the kimchi in place of daikons. The greens went into the goats and they quite liked them.

The spinach that actually grew is getting big and needs to be eaten. I need to see whether I can harvest just the outer leaves. I transplanted a couple of last fall’s chard from the old bed and they have taken hold and are growing again. I’ll move the rest over and then I’ll just have the lonely garlic and a single pea plant that is still hanging on over there.

Despite the brilliance and simplicity of the idea that pea plants can just be planted in two rows 6” apart and then hold onto eachother as they grow skyward, the peas, apparently, think otherwise. Pea supports are needed. Is it because of our wind?

The beets are looking fantastic. At some point I need to poke around and see what the roots look like.

The squashes and pumpkins are growing enormous leaves, sending out tendrils, blossoming and growing little jellybean-sized fruit. The yellow summer squashes are a bit ahead of the game at 4”. I am beginning to dream of sautéed squash with butter and salt.

The melons have blossomed and we are awaiting the appearance of jellybean-sized melons.

Orchard/berry report: Isaiah spent about 20 minutes and got the blueberries on drip irrigation. He’s got the rest of the orchard and berries all figured out and we are now awaiting parts. I am always grateful for the way his brain works and don’t mind his impetuosity at all when he takes on projects that overwhelm me.

The new trees are now looking loads better after two rounds of orchard spraying. The Bartlett pear is also looking much improved. Unfortunately, another of our fig trees is looking poorly. Elijah is researching to see if he can figure out what’s going on and how to save it. I just remember the nursery folks telling us how easy and trouble-free fig trees were here…oh well…

We ate our one and only surviving peach. It was wonderful. Some day I hope we’ll get more than one per annum. We also got a very few blueberries. Considering the fact that they were transplanted while they were blossoming, I am pretty pleased.

All our grapes are alive! We had a couple that I thought were dead, but we’ve got new growth this week! What a blessing and wonderful surprise.

Kitchen report: Pineapples were dried, canned and gorged upon and strawberries were frozen and combined with the last of the apples for more strawberry-apple butter. With the apples gone I am ready to welcome in cherry season.

Animals report: We’ve got to get rid of some of these chickens. The plan is to sell Rudy and his flock. The new meat birds arrive in a little more than a week.

We are on goat watch. Ella is due on Saturday, but has been moaning and groaning and showing various other signs of impending kidding. I was just thinking that this will be our third kidding this year and we still don’t know what to expect because we’ve never been through kidding with this particular goat. Three births, three different goats! Here’s hoping for a daylight delivery, straightforward presentations, a calm momma goat, TWO healthy babies who are good nursers and girls would be nice so I don’t have to deal with castration…

Other: The goldenseal is looking ok, but I’m wondering if it needs a better mulch. My understanding is that it is a forest floor dweller in nature. The motherwort and marshmallow are pretending that it is winter in damp peat in the fridge for a couple of months. As their planter was empty, I bought some non-medicinal lobelia (all they had) and some impatiens. They are not very useful, but they are very pretty and look nice in the blue planters flanking the green door.

I think I need to shift my thinking about the seasons here. Growing up in New England, winter was always the time for inside projects, sewing, etc. Here, winter is about six weeks long and only two of those are post-Christmas. This is not nearly long enough for all the inside stuff I need to get done. And so…perhaps summer needs to be the new winter. It lasts about as long as a NE winter, slows down the garden and is miserable to go out in. I’ll see if I can make it work.

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