Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cold comes back

It was about 70 yesterday. Tonight, it will be below freezing by several degrees. I am planning to come home early from work to make sure I can get the row cover on the hazelnut, which is already leafing out. I think all the rest of the trees will be okay as they all still seem dormant.

Nothing much else to report today.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The big time

Ladies and gentlemen (all three of you who read this);
It is possible that the Darko Urban Farm will hit the big time. I am so excited that I can't even use exclamation points. They would be an understatement.

The upshot followed by the backstory: Darko Urban Farm may appear in the next edition of Urban Farm Magazine. I have goosebumps.

I have been busting my flabby garden muscles this weekend. Friday at the DUF (best acronym ever), Saturday at Leigh Farm with my edible landscaping class, and today at my friend Nick's house with Crop mob. A reporter from Urban Farm was also at the crop mob and my friend Danny pointed the reporter in my direction. She says she will call me for an interview tomorrow.

My sister gets all the kudos. She was the brains and about 85% of the brawn behind the DUF CSA. Alexis, you dreamed big and helped make my crazy farmer dream come true. Happy birthday. I am so glad you are my sister.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The best day

I love my little farm. It makes everything okay. I had a tough week at work and so was able to take Friday off. Spring danced in on beams of sunlight and I worked outside in a t shirt. I pulled more weeds. I squealed to see tulips--a birthday gift from last year-- coming up around one of my apple trees. I saw the comfrey sending up green leaves, bulbs galore. Onions and garlic sprouting. I'm sure it's a pipe dream, but i am imagining that there wont be much wire grass this year. It's good to dream big in the spring. If only it would rain.

In addition to weeding, I picked up greensand and rock phosphate from Stone Brothers. I mixed the amendments in with the vermicompost from the bottom layer of Can O Worms, dug holes beside each tree to make sure they have access to phosphorus and fed all of the fruiting and flowering trees. Will tossed Biotone in each hole to ensure that the would be some mushroom to help the tree roots find the yummy stuff.

Then, I stood on the fence and looked down the row of apple trees. Every year in the garden moves me to joy. Those apples have grown a lot! They came to me in a tube; just a stack of sticks. Now, their trunks look so strong, their little branches come out of the trunks at strong, fruit bearing angles, and no branches point inward toward the trunk. My little orchard is growing strong! I wish I could be a farmer every day. I love being out there with my plants so much.

Tomorrow I will ask the Rock Shop to deliver some mulch. And I will get the potato starts ready. It's also spring veggie planting time already! I will plant the front yard with dill and cilantro and lettuce. There are already lots of cabbage family plants out there from the winter garden. And maybe peas.

My big projects will be kiwis and passion flower. I would like to build them a trellis out back. I have passion flower seeds; I will try to remember to scratch them up soon. So much to do!!!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Weeding. Already.

I spent a large part of the weekend outside and it was awesome. I watched the apple tree pruning video made by the nursery Useful Plants and headed to the orchard, pruning equipment in hand. I decided to start with the hazelnut, after looking at and feeling daunted by my peach tree (how did it get so big in a year?). I think the pruning went well. I determined that I had not killed the hazelnut, it just had one dead branch. And I discovered that it already has beautiful white buds! Feeling good, I pruned the peach and the apples as well. I gave the bunnies the apple twigs. The cleaned the bark off in about five minutes.

Then I decided to plant my winnings from the bulb blitz before it got any later in the year and some wild flow seeds that, if the live, should make tasty food for my bees. Preparing a bed for bulbs and one for seeds leads us to everyone's favorite activity....WEEDING!! All I have to say is, if that damn wire grass doesn't give up the ghost soon, I may give up on farming (hah! That's funny!). Hopefully the berm and the weedy hillside will soon have a profusion of wild flowers.

In other news, I have decided what to do with the weedy hillside. I am going to forage for logs, hold them along the hillside with rebar, and the fill up the terraced sections with organic matter and mycelium. In a year or two, I will have nice dirt and slightly flatter land. I will be able to plant trees and such that will hold the land in place by the time the logs rot away. I think it is the best plan in the world.

Today will be 72 degrees. Spring most decidedly started this weekend. It will be in the 50s and 60s for the next 10 days. I saw 2 daffodils flowering last week as well as forsythia starting to bloom. Phew! I've made it through another winter!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


One more thing I forgot to mention. Bee adoption day is April 16!!!!! They are ordered and will be ready for pickup right after tax day! I ordered them for $80 from Busy Bee in Chapel Hill. I am so excited for them to arrive! I learned about a bush I need to plant for them ASAP but I already forgot what it is called. Good thing I wrote it down in my class notes!


It's over. It's really, really over. Even though it's still cold out, it's warm sometimes, too. And ......... THE ONIONS ARE GROWING!!!!! I was outside for a bit on Sunday. It was in the 60s and sunny. I cut back some of the herbs and the asparagus. And I checked on the onion bed. There are sprouts!!! The onions know it is spring!!!! Thank goodness; I have had more than enough winter.

In other news, my Durham Tech class is just about perfect. Today, we learned some about good plants for attracting insects and birds. I was thrilled to learn that I have already planted many of them; all of my herbs, chaste tree, sunflowers (I can't wait to plant the ones I got at that rest stop in Virginia). It sounds like I need plant some stuff in the carrot family, more parsley, and sun chokes. Also a beauty berry bush.

It's time to go back to wondering if it is inappropriate to wear rubber slippers when interviewing potential summer clerks. It's going to be 65 tomorrow (yay!!!) and I am interviewing from 10 to 2:10. Grrrr. Oh well. Hopefully it will be 65 again soon.