It's rather warm and wet in comparison to previous years. The fruit trees are still bothering by fireblight, so Roger is pruning them to keep them intact. Because of the colder Spring and wetter Summer, we might not have as many fruits as we expected this year. There are apples and peaches on the trees, but we haven't seen any pears or plums yet. The good news is that the tomatoes, peppers on high-raised bed, corn, sweet potatoes, water melon and honeydew are growing like weeds.
Everything (kale, swiss chard, broccoli, squash, onion) in the straw bale garden is doing great. It's amazing how such a simple garden can grow everything so well. There is so much to harvest that we are both eating the veggies, but also have kale smoothies for breakfast.
May is one of the prettiest month. All flowers are competing their beauties. Iris, Peonies, Roses, and many other flowers are blooming. All the garden beds are covered with vegetables, berries, flowers, and herbs.
While customers are pulling turnips, carrots, beets, picking kales, salad greens, and peas, I am collecting rose buds and chamomile flowers for tea.
We planted corn, sweet potatoes, varieties of melons and water melons, and squash this month. It's comparatively warm this year, a lot of weeding on the way….
The chickens are working hard to get my garden beds ready. They scratch the grass, take out bugs, and fertilize the soil before our Spring Planting.
Cabbage, celery, onion, peas, broccoli plants were put in the planting boxes and my new straw bale garden bed. The new straw bale garden bed was warm enough that all the seedings were still growing through a couple frosts with plastic covers.
Whenever I get a chance to take a break, I love to take a short walk this month on the hiking trails to see the Trillium, May Apple, Wild Geranium, and Solomon Seals blooming
A lot of cleanup works, trees and bushes pruning, plants thinning and potting for the Garden Club plant sale. A lot of planting after the last frost. Pepper, Tomatoes, Squashes, Egg Plants are in the ground.
April probably is the busiest month for farmers. Not much time for me to take pictures or write…. Got to go back to work.
We pruned the fruit trees back before the sap starts rising so that the trees will focus on the new shoots and deliver lots of fruit this year. Last year, we had our first harvest of apples, but due to the wet weather, we had "fire" blight, which left the apples looking spotty, but they were still delicious. We haven't had as much rain this year, so we are hopeful for a better harvest. We also are looking forward to having our first harvest from the pear trees.
We are moving to a lot of raised beds this year. We built six cedar boxes (4 X 8 feet) in the garden in front of the office, so we can plant vegetables and flowers. The raised beds will naturally produce less weeds, but when (not if) there are weeds, it will be easier to pull them without having to bend over constantly as we do in the main garden.
Many seedings were put in clear boxes and put on our front porch for hardening.
In addition to the gardening works, it's time for deep cleaning and renovation works. This year, we painted Bunk House and Hide Out cabins. We installed central heat and air for the Bunk House cabin. For safety, we put an extra railing for the Trail's End steps. The best is, we add rain barrels for our chicken garden.
The cold season seems to be endless this year. Finally, toward to the end of March, the Tulips, Daffodils, Lantern Roses, Peach trees, Pear trees, Forsythia start to bloom. Spring is COMING!
Winter keeps hanging on, with snow and very cold temperatures. The indoor seedlings are growing fast with the constant light from our "Grow" lights.
More seeding work for onions, greens, peppers, perennial flowers, and egg plants. I started a few heirloom tomato seeds as well. It's interesting to see while Roger was driving the tractor and trying to remove snow, my orchids, terrariums, Amaryllis plants, green seedings were growing beautiful indoor.
I added a straw bale garden bed outside the chicken coop. Leftover peat moss, kitchen scraps, fall leaves, and the waste from the chicken house were added to the pile.
The Christmas Trees from the Holidays were planted in the ground. Blackberry and Raspberry canes were trimmed and fed to the goats.
All of my favorite Seeds and fruit trees Catalogs arrived. While it's snowing outside, I am reading the catalogs with a cup of coffee on hand. That's how a gardener's dream starts…..
In addition to dreaming and planning, there are actually a lot of physical farm work… outdoors
Whenever the weather allows, I am out doing some dormant spray on fruit trees and pruning the apple and pear trees. I am also doing some seedings for vegetables, herbs, and flowers that have long growing seasons of which I can put out in the hot houses in March (e.g. Cabbages, Celery, Kales, Lavenders, Onions, Shallots, etc). Here are the steps for my seeding process,
1. I am a big believers of recycling. I collected Styrofoam cups and clear Salad Boxes from parties and customers. I cleaned them and punched holes on the bottoms and sides of the Styrofoam cups.
2. I label the plant names on the cups and fill the cups with seed starting potting mix and add warm water. I pressed seeds on top of each cups, put cups inside the clear salad box, and bring them next to a Big Window. I put a fluorescent light nearby for the nights or raining days. Let them grow and grow….