Thursday, May 30, 2024

Busy Summer(?) Has Begun

I woke to 36° this morning, a temperature which definitely does not qualify as summer time.  However, it's not unusual for this time of year for those of us living up here near the Arctic Circle.
The past few days have been lovely (except for the on and off showers on Tuesday) and much has been accomplished out in the garden.  Dear daughter has been helping me and to paraphrase (badly) the old saying, "Two people working together more than double the efforts of one."
I'm staying ahead (almost) of weeds springing up in still yet to be planted areas.  Our asparagus patch is flourishing as is our giant rhubarb plant.  I simply cannot indulge in another fresh rhubarb pie.  (Okay, maybe just one more.)
Our hens have finally (we hope) decided we are not letting them go broody and hatch out chicks quite yet this season and the egg production is climbing again.  Hooray.
As I was finishing the task of getting our strawberry bed ready for the season, I noticed the planting of comfrey was ready to be cut.

Although Papa Pea dries a lot of it each summer to use as a supplement to our chickens' feed during the winter months, I decided to steal some.

Since comfrey is said to be a great addition to compost piles and also adds lots of nutrients (fertilizer) to the soil, I cut it to lay between the double rows of strawberry plants before covering the same area with mulch.

The strawberry plants are now completely ready for the season.  I've already seen some white blossoms, harbinger of berries, on many of the plants.  Can hardly wait for those first, fresh strawberries! 

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Attempt To Catch Up

Oh, my.  I can't remember a busier spring.  Maybe it is true that the older one gets, the faster time goes.  Uh-oh.
We've been having many rainy days lately.  Which is a good thing considering our drought conditions last summer and lack of snowfall this winter.  Yesterday morning our rain gauge held 3" of water.  This morning we have lovely sunshine, and I'm hoping it will dry some of the puddles and muddy dirt everywhere outside.  But rain is predicted to come again later tomorrow and continue through the weekend.
I've been using my time indoors to stock the freezer with casseroles and soups that will come in handy this summer.  (No rest for the wicked, they say.)
One more cutting of chives (if the four clumps in the garden ever dry out) should fill the quota of frozen chives I use all winter long.  Our asparagus patch is bursting forth with a bumper crop that gives us plenty to eat every day and still more to share.
Rhubarb is a miraculous plant that just keeps on giving.  Unfortunately, the rhubarb desserts I've been happily baking are giving me visibly tighter pants.
The southern part of the most recently plowed up planting area has so many good sized rocks (mini-boulders) in it that not only has my little Mantis tiller proved totally inadequate in working it up, but even Papa Pea has been hesitant to use the Gravely garden tractor in it fearing the rocks will cause unwanted damage.  If nothing else, we grow magnificent rocks here.

So our good neighbor offered to bring his small backhoe over to do the job of extricating the blankety-blank rocks.  He's a pro with his machinery, and now we only have to haul away the piles of rocks unearthed.  We'll use the bucket on our tractor once the ground dries enough so we won't tear up the area needing to be accessed.  The guys finished up in drenching rain.

Our haskap berry bushes have been totally blossomed out and the earth beneath them is carpeted with falling petals as the berry buds form.
That's all for today as I'm heading out in my muck boots to pull up the rest of the hardy and healthy weeds I was working on removing from the blueberry patch before the most recent rains began.  If the lawn area, which is particularly long and lush, isn't dry enough to mow before tomorrow's rain arrives, we may have to use a hand scythe to beat it into submission.