Tuesday, April 17, 2018

government spuds and an all wheat trio

this year's government potatoes from the potato introduction station in sturgeon's bay wisconsin arrived today and i am leading off the quartet with a variety called bison because someone i know likes the real thing a lot and they are special...
next up, some non-reds called barbara...
another set of sturdy reds called viking...
and another variety tagged simply DTO-2...an unknown variable in the mix...the weather may moderate soon to the point i feel alright about planting these...they'll stay in the box they came in until then...
as i expected, the wheat blew off yesterday's snow as just another day in the bed...these three leafs of emmer wheat are emblematic of the plant's hardiness...we'll see how things turn out.

Monday, April 16, 2018

16 april...not over yet

chilly...
snow...in the wheat beds...
and in the ramp bed as well...spring is still running a bit behind its time.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

2018 unspring

it is mid-april and spring has shown some of the "vernal tendencies" that so annoyed de quincey...there are five varieties of wheat up aand running pout in the back...
and the thoroughly unexpected sprouts are doing okay...
the strawberries imported from new york are all evincing new growth...
while the ramps in the leaf litter on the north side of the house are happily believing they are still in the woods...all the cold hardy varieties are perfectly at home...and that's the point...
april may be the "cruelest month" but still, in what was a normal year in the past, temperatures had usually moderated to a degree ( or two ) by now and this season they really have not...it has been a cold spring...
and, of late, it has turned wet...it has been raining ( there is standing water in my yard...which isn't that unusual...except for the fact that we have a very sandy sub-soil and water tends to drain away very quickly...usually...there has been a lot of rain )for better than twenty-four hours now and it seems determined to continue...
at least that is what the earthworms ( always a welcome sight ) that it is driving tot he surface all over the yard are telling me..so the cold hardy, from the asparagus in the community garden tot he sprouts out back, are well at home in april...but i am wondering just how long this will go on...it won't matter for the annuals like tomatoes or peppers that i plan to transplant whenever it is suitable...and the maize probably will be alright ( the squirrels are going to eat it anyway )...there are those things i plant to grow from direct sown seed though...like sweet clover and teosinte...that will have to wait until it warms...and the cold sensitive tubers like mashua and yacon that have long seasons...and the teosinte for that matter...its season seems to go on for ever...all of which may have truncated seasons if this doesn't change soon...true it is only mid-april...but, from another standpoint, it is already mid-april and there are many of us who are weary of being cooped up in the basement...time to get outside.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

spears

it was somewhat cool and damp when i got to the garden this morning...
i found that the spear that had broken surface a couple of weeks ago hadn't made much vertical progress...
it has, however, been joined by six other spears which have broken through in the past week...so every crown in the bed is producing which is god news...
the dozen or so volunteer garlic plants are looking robust...
and i have a small stand of alfalfa...churning out nitrogen and providing nesting material for any solitary bees that might be around...progress...soo n i will cull the jerusalem artichokes from my bed to use a seed stock to re-wild them around and about...and start on a somewhat more conventional bed ( but probably not planted in neat little rows...and probably home to some sort of ancestor/domesticate combination )

Friday, April 13, 2018

grains and allium

hard red spring...
einkorn...
emmer...
dwarf syrian...
and pacific blue stem wheats are all beginning to fill in the beds...
and the winter rye is looking lush...
the egyptian walking onions have their mid-april green on ( and so, for that matter, does the winter vetch popping up through the straw at the onions' bases..be forewarned, like any perennial, these legumes are relentless...they may set a lot of nitrogen int he soil but that is no excuse for a take over )
and, finally, like the teosinte when it is up and running ( soon! ) i cannot resist throwing in a ramp photo when they are on the move.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

ramps

ramps...
with one view from yesterday...
...and two from today...
...it would seem the daffodils are not alone in deciding it is finally spring.