Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sleet, kiwis and asparagus

There is so much going on in the spring! Seedlings are getting bigger. I thinned arugala and endive yesterday and they made a tasty garnish for the yummy soba noodle salad I made with . . . FRESH ASPARAGUS!! Yum yum yum yum yum. This is year number three post crown planting, so we get to harvest until we're sick of it!

Will and I started construction of an arbor for the kiwi vines. It is awesome. I will post a picture when it is done. Then, we got the kiwis, the second pawpaw, the second raspberry and the goumi in the ground. And none too soon, as it proceeded to sleet on Sunday night and give us one more hard frost last night. I'm afraid to go look at the apple trees, a couple of which were in full flower. I guess it doesn't much matter; they're still babies, so I wasn't going to let them bear fruit this year anyway.

The indoor starts are doing okay. I've upped my game, by adding The Mister to my seed starting regimen. The Mister is something I saw at petsmart the other day. It is a watering device for reptiles, but it struck me that if it was gentle enough for a lizard, it would probably serve nicely for seedlings. And boy is it awesome. Pump up the air pressure, press a button and every seedling is well watered in under two minutes. It used to take me 15 minutes, and my hand would hurt from spritzing a million times.

On tap for tomorrow evening will be a second round of seed starting. I need to start a bunch of the seeds I got from Bountiful Gardens. I am especially excited for the approximately 90000000000 artichoke seeds I ended up with. I am hoping I know some peeps that will take some off my hands. I should probably start a seed starting business now that I have so many seeds and The Mister.

Location:S Mangum St,Durham,United States

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Planting planting planting

I'm slowly reclaiming the garden from the winter weeds. Each weekend, there are more mulched paths, more beds, and more sprouts! The seed starting cabinet has a jam packed level full of seedling flats and I'm about to start more. Seeds arrived this weekend from Bountiful Gardens! We've also been putting in useful plants all around; one pawpaw is in the NE corner of our yard, nearby is a choke berry bush. The hardy kiwis aren't planted yet, but they will go in the old greenhouse beds and the pergola will sit over the path. The elderberries went in the garden itself, and we got one of the raspberries in on the western side of the weedy hillside. We have another pawpaw, a persimmon, and a goumi berry still to plant... And I have to set up the drip irrigation system asap, as it is going to be in the mid 80s today. I have to remember to water the mushrooms today too, lest they dry out and die. Busy busy busy.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Conquering the weedy hillside

This has been an awesome week in farming! On Saturday, I had help planting lettuce, peas, beets, carrots and radishes from my sister, Darko Urban Farm's new volunteer, and my friend Danny who walked by and contributed 30 minutes of mulch moving. In addition, two students from Duke's Center for Documentary Studies came to the farm and interviewed me and Will. They were learning to make a brief slideshow with audio. We had a lot of fun and hope to get to see their finished product.

On Saturday, we also mulched the berm. It looks good, but needs more understory plantings to obviate the need for mulching in the future. Thankfully. . . There are tons of plants on their way to us from Useful Plants! I am excited to put into practice some of the amazing things I learned in my Edible Landscaping class as we add hardy kiwis, pawpaws, cherries, elderberries, persimmons and more to our landscape.

Then, on Sunday, Will and I implemented the best idea I have ever had. No kidding. Best idea ever. Ready? We got a bunch of pine trees from a guy who was cutting them down in his yard. We borrowed an angle grinder from Amber's dad (thank you!), and cut rebar to 3 foot lengths, pounded it into the ground so that about a foot was sticking up, built up the pine logs against the rebar and backfilled with mulch!!! VoilĂ  terrace! There are three levels. I ordered King Strephoria mushroom spawn from the really helpful folks at Mountain Mushroom in South Carolina (thanks, Tradd!). These mushrooms are edible and they have strong roots (or whatever you call them with mushrooms) that will help control erosion. They will decompose the wood chips, hopefully leaving us with great soil in which to plant...more food!!!!!

Also (I said it was a big week), I started seeds in the awesome planting cabinet Alexis made for me, and cut up potatoes to be planted later this week. Let the growing.....BEGIN!!!!