Sunday, April 29, 2012

April nearly gone..

Not much blogging going on this month because there is so much to do in the garden and greenhouses. No end of seeding, transplanting and transplanting again. The mesclun salad mix and radishes planted in the soil of the high tunnel look to be on schedule for their first harvest for our St Martins Farmers Market, opening may 20th.
Sometimes I imagine the plants are looking at me reproachfully.."Put me in a bigger pot, NOW !"
Things are more or less on schedule but for the end of the month cold snap..2 more nights of -3C forcast , 2 more nights of scurrying bleary eyed to tend the wood stove in the tunnel greenhouse twice a night. At the same time there are nocturnal visits to the barn to see if the mini foal has landed yet. The mare looks at me as if to say, "What you again? Go to bed and stay there!"

Instead of a series of young Wwoofers helping and learning this year we have Gudrun from Germany, here for 6 weeks to learn about growing for home and market in the Maritimes. A formidable woman with a set of bush nippers, here she is pruning the shoots off the big linden trees after singlehandedly pruning all the nasty thorny blackberries and the remaining raspberries.
We had a fun day off and did a road trip to Corn Hill Nursery near Petitcodiac for a learning seminar on grafting and pruning fruit trees, where we learned a lot. I bought my replacement raspberry and strawberry plants there. The raspberry patch ran down years ago but it was only last summer I was able to prepare new ground in an area with better drainage.

This is the new garden that grew a crop of buckwheat last summer, that was green manured, horse manured and had bags and bags of leaves turned under. Its a crumbly joy to work with and so full of earthworms. There are four  95' rows of raspberry plants (hard to see but all 200 of them are there) and a row of potatoes between each raspberry row.  I like to get the early potatoes in asap for market, and then I take my time with the late storage types. We should get a decent berry crop next year and a really magnificent crop the third year. Which is when I will probably be hanging out the u-pick sign.
Today the leeks finally got planted, we really do need more hours in the day...Gudrun is making holes with the dibble and dropping a baby leek in each hole , followed by a small bit of soil. This gets the base of the plant down deep where it will blanch. The rain will gradually wash in more soil as the top of the plant grows up out of the hole.

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