Monday, February 20, 2012

The seasons go round like a wheel

It's been nearly six months without blog contact. To catch us all up, Durham had a wildly mild winter. Them, last night, it snowed. But don't worry. It will be over 60 degrees out tomorrow and 70 by Wednesday. The floating row covers and the plastic tunnel experiments worked a bit, but not nearly so well as I was hoping. It was difficult to keep the plastic where it belonged, and the row covers are too much a pain in the tush to get under. But it is possible that these things extended the growing season. It is hard to tell because the winter was so warm that things grew even outside of the season extenders!
On to spring news:
The peas are in. I planted them on Saturday. Also seeded in is a very exciting experiment. My massage therapist and I share a love of gardening and she gave me Italian arugula seeds. I have decided I love European seed packets. This one is quite informative without being overwhelming.
More greens will go in this coming weekend.
Soil prep has been done with a fun new tool this year. I'm using a broad fork I received as a Christmas gift from my in laws. It is awesome to use and hopefully it will do good things for the garden.
Seed starting will begin in earnest in a couple of weeks indoors. I think I might have 10 different types of tomato seeds...thank you Baker Creek for throwing in one more as a free gift with my order! It is always fun to try something new.
The BIGGEST news ever is that we have expanded our urban landholdings, and........we will be putting in an urban orchard NEXT WEEK!!!! The orchard was designed and will be installed by Bountiful Backyards (Will and I will wield shovels as well in an effort to be helpful!). I cannot express in words how very excited I am about the orchard and the chance to work with BB.
I will wrap it up with the animals. My cat has yet to kill a vole. My 2012 bee attempt will begin (with two hives) in late April. I think I have learned enough at the wonderful Orange County Beekeepers Association's bee school to keep them around this year! I also have a house for mason bees (another thankful shout out to Anne and Tom) that I will hang on the front porch. The fowl are doing well and laying regularly and have been for about two weeks now. I am hoping to add two more ladies to the flock sometime this spring.