So, it was busy.
What did we do? Saturday I ran at 7 am (this is unlike me). Then we didn't go to swim lessons because Magpie was sick, but instead took the chance to spread a cubic yard of TAGRO into our sad planter boxes full of crappy fill dirt and uncared for but tough as nails plants. We ended up with the straight stuff rather than the potting mix - we'll see how tough they really are. This was followed by a bounce-house birthday party for the daughter of good friends and then dropping Magpie off at Grandma's for a jamma par-tay (which was restful for the sicky compared to the planned evening with cousins). Off to Gig Harbor for pedicures for me and my sis-in-law followed by her birthday dinner out (excellent dinner - highly recommend JW in Gig Harbor!). Then home for a good night of childless sleep before...
...the first BIG farm day of 2011. Now, our lovely hosts at the farm have quite a lot of big farm days. So far in 2011 we have had a number of butchering days, wine days, and even a few garden days plus the regular day to day stuff that the guys manage much to our benefit. But on Sunday after picking up Magpie and having mother's day breakfast with Grandma and Pakka, we spent close to seven hours tackling projects and man, did we ever get stuff done.
1) The return of the chili house. Last year we filled the green house with a variety of chili plants, mostly started from seeds. They were awesome - best way to grow them in lovely maritime western Washington. This year I got lazy and bought starts - but we planted with lots more spacing so I hope yields make up for it. I will have to check the plant count, but I think it's around 60. Mostly poblanos, anaheims, and jalepenos with some serranos, cayenne, habanero, thai chili, Hungarian blacks, Jamaican hot chocolates, and a few sweet peppers for good measures. Oh, and we threw in some eggplants. The green house is full, drip system is in, and I am already looking forward to late summer!
2) The tomato house. Last year was an abysmal tomato year. Really, really depressing - we planted over 70 tomato plants and got probably less than 20 gallons of really good tomatoes. In retrospect is is probably good they didn't all ripen, but more would have been nice. This year the strategy is to plant them in a relatively large hoop house and unveil them sometime around July. We have 25 plants in there with room for about 15 more, plus a few additional eggplants and chilis that had no room in the greenhouse.
3) The bean tunnel. My mother is, perhaps, a little obsessed with beans. We all enjoyed them last year, but my mom has visions of dried beans dancing in her head. So we (much this is the royal we, which often does not involve me personally) built a lovely 8-ft tall and probably 5-ft wide series of PVC arches with netting over them for the beans to grow up and over along part of the path bisecting the main garden.
4) Planting starts. A combination of our seed starts and purchased starts we plugged in the ground. Adding to the rows of cabbages and other greens that went in a few weeks ago, and hte potatos I forgot to mention, we've now added parsley, celery, lots of onions, cauliflower, more broccoli, peas (planted to grow up the bean tunnel until the beans are ready to go). I also finally was able to plant some seeds directly in the ground - 2 types of carrots and some beets.
5) The children's garden. Magpie "helped" start seeds so it's only appropriate that she plant the resulting mishmash in a space for her to call her own. She reveled in the dirt and the chance to work without anyone telling her not to step, dig, or sit anywhere she liked.
6) Various chores including weeding, tilling, hilling leeks.
The garden is looking lovely in its early well-tilled, even-rowed state (particularly with a glass of well-earned farm wine in hand), and we are all very excited to see how it develops. More starts to go out in the next couple of weeks which we will supplement with additional plants from the markets.
Things we can eat now: red and white "green" onions planted last year and overwintered. These are delicious! Lovage, which is kind of like celery, but better. Until last week turnip greens, but those have been rototilled now. A variety of wild greens.
Other things planted last fall or winter but not quite ready: leeks, globe onions (white, yellow, red), shallots, five varieties of garlic. We have asparagus coming up that has to wait for next year, as well as rhubarb.
It is going to be a good year.