Saturday, May 17, 2008

May Flowers

Note: This post is really on May 25. (A little learning to blog blip.)

Everything is is full swing here at the farm. It's the first day of my second "Farm Week" where I get to stay home and farm full time. It's bliss. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the work is happening, and the flowers are blooming. These pictures were taken 1 week ago and already there are more kinds of flowers coming into bloom. The tree peony buds were fatter and pinker this afternoon than they were in the morning! Dianthus and Centaurea will be flowering soon. Last year the first CSA delivery bouquet included some of these stunning tulips. This year they will be all done before the first delivery so here are some pictures to enjoy. I definitely want to plant more tulips this fall.

Amazing Parrot Tulips

This bouquet was made on May 16. Even this early, it's possible to make something pretty. Now the lilacs are in full swing. I have light and dark purple, white and cream. Plus an old bush I am trying to revive that has dark ruby flowers. I am a sucker for lilacs. I want more!

An early bouquet

I love species daffodils, especially the scented varieties. This one is a sweetie.

Sweet daffodils: I think the variety is Sun Disc

By now (May 25) the apple blossoms are nearly done but the trees were loaded this year. Plus we had a bunch of sunny weather while they were blooming so maybe we will get a good crop of apples in the fall. Apple trees in my garden: Baldwin, Gravenstein, Pippen, Bramley, Red Astrachan, Stayman Winesap

Apple Blossoms: Baldwin

There's lots and lots of planting going on. Yesterday I finished planting 16 teepees of pole beans and 20 feet of head lettuce. Today I put in 8 hills of summer squashes and 14 feet of slicing cucumbers. Plus I dug more space in the flower garden and took soil samples for the new tomato area and next year's cutting garden. Rob mowed the grass and set up the frame for the greenhouse and yesterday Karen dug up another 6 feet of overgrown garden space. Phew! We are all working hard and it's starting to show.

The first delivery bouquet

Fruits of the Earth

Lately I have been enjoying the many wild foods the earth gives us in the springtime. I've had nettles, Jerusalem artichokes, violet greens, wild peppermint, violet blossoms and fiddleheads in various forms. Last night Rob and I had a delicious combination of many of those items, mostly as part of tabouli made with quinoa. So good. But I didn't want to leave out the vegetable garden so we also had the first MESCLUN of the season!

All the leaves in this special mix were less than one inch long but they were packed with deliciousness! Really juicy and GREEN tasting. The mix included:
arugula, Osaka purple mustard, Green Wave mustard, Heading mustard, Zen, Golden Frilled mustard, Ruby Streaks mustard, New Red Fire lettuce, spinach, Johnny Jump Up flowers, turnip greens, mizuna, purple mizuna, Galactic lettuce. It took awhile to pick but it was worth it.

For all you CSA members and farm stand visitors, soon there will be enough mesclun for all of us! Yum.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Marking the Rows

Still working on a blog routine. Eventually I hope to post at regular intervals and to include postings of what is in each week's CSA share and what is at the stand. Since my farm is so small, these things probably vary more than other farms. In the same way that I need to be extra careful about how much I plant. Not too much, or the garden will be filled, with no space for other things, and not too little, or there won't be enough harvest for all of us. I am aiming for "just right".

I have been busy in many ways. Digging the flower garden so I can plant all the new perennials and annual cutting flowers I have. I went to Walker Farm in Putney looking for onion plants and came home with 4 new peonies, 54 Eustoma plants, a flowering onion, a few herbs, including Pineapple Sage, one of my yearly favorites. I like buying herb plants at Walkers because they come from Sal Gilberties in Connecticut. Many years ago my mom worked at Gilberties making herbal wreaths. She also used to collect Sweet Gum burrs and Sycamore burrs to sell to Sal for fall decorations. I don't know if Mr. Gilbertie is still living but I know my mom enjoyed her connection with his nursery. It was right up her alley.

Plus my orders of perennials came from Bluestone Perennials and Territorial Seeds. I have about 36 plants in all from them including Coconut Lime Echinachea, Arp Rosemary, (which just might be hardy here), Coronation Gold Achillea, Coreopsis Heaven's Gate, Gloriosa Irish Eyes, and more. Generally busy digging and planting flowers and day dreaming about bouquets. I am about to pick and prepare some bouquets/centerpieces for the Council on Aging lunch today.

Plus there are few stray flowers to move from the old flower garden so I can use that space for my potato frames. You get the picture? Back to digging...