Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tater time

The snow came and went - like a ghost.
Yesterday was back to beautiful spring weather - and more to come for the rest of the week.

I decided to look at the state of the seed potatoes that I had saved from last summer's crop and kept in paper bags in the bottom drawer of my home fridge, and this is what I saw:
The Red Pontiac's busting out.
And the Irish Cobblers shy, but determined.

Well. about 2/3 of the potatoes got underground yesterday!
This soil was under cardboard and mulch all last year. Most of the organic matter has composted at least half way - and I dig all the smaller bits under and shake the soil loose with the fork. There were very little weeds - the mulching really does wonders for a grower!!! I'll be sure to mulch even better this year.
Anyway. I hope the red potatoes will make it - the sprouts were so long already... I've never planted them in this state. 

I will get some new seed again this year from Weston's Feed and Seed and plant again in a few weeks - that should give us a few crops of potatoes in June or so. 

The seeds from Johnny's Seed and Territorial came in yesterday also:) 
The spring fever is here!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The diggin' in the dirt has begun.

Hi folks, It's been a long time since I posted here. Sorry for leaving y'all hanging, but occasionally one needs to spend more time in "real reality"as opposed to the virtual reality.
Life HAS BEEN going on at STARworks Garden despite the lack of posts here. As a matter of fact, Adam recently said:" Blogging is so passé..." - that in comparison to tweeting, face-booking, pinging etc.
What do you all think?!
Our second season of the CSA was small, but it did continue almost into December. The winter has been exceptionally mild, and there has been something green and blooming in the garden throughout the winter. Kind of eerie.

So - what are the things happening there now?
I pruned the beauty-berry bushes, rose bush, apple and pear tree about 2 weeks ago. The peach/nectarine/apricot/plum - tree still needs to be pruned - but it is quite full and beautiful - I find it hard figuring out where to start with it...
I've started cleaning out the neglected compost piles. There is a lot of woody brown matter on top of each of the three bins, and some composted goodness on the bottom. The goal is to get everything out, to use the compost in greenhouse and veggie beds, to get some horse manure, and layer the woody stuff with horse manure back in the compost pile, cross the fingers, maybe mix it at some point, and hope for the best.

I do have some photographic evidence of happenings in the Annex, which is out garden extension on Eddie and Angela's land. The biggest plan this year is to fence in this garden, to protect it from deer (they did plenty of damage last year) and to run some drip irrigation on the beds, from the rainwater collector (the standing with the hose was painful...).
Here we go:
Garlic got planted in mid-october, which is the best time in our region, as I'm told by people in the know. It is looking mighty purty! The smaller green stuff growing there is wheat, I think - from the straw bales. I did get around to mulching:) And it has made a major difference with weeds. The wheat can be pulled out, and laid right back there - for additional mulch and nitrogen.
I was in the garden on Tuesday, digging and sweating in the 65˚F something degrees, and a few spuds came out - they had over-wintered from the late fall crop. I'm thinking... maybe it would make sense - for the purpose of stretching out the seed potatoes - to plant a crop in late august, say, for the sole purpose of growing some more seed for the next spring? Plant them, let them do their multiplying underground - and in February - dig 'em up? Prep your land - then plant them again?
Does anybody have experience with it? 
Well I'm trying it. I planted those puppies. 
These are onions. Now, this may come back and bite me in the tail, but I figured - it's been warm enough, that the earth is toasty, even if we have a surface freeze... I'll be planting at least some of the onion sets. I plant them in diamond pattern, up to about the second knuckle of my index finger, and about 3" apart. This may be a bit tight, but I hate to waste land - and it has worked out fine for me so far. 
This little section of a bed ended up with about 12" depth of soil - so I couldn't resist and sowed some carrot seed in 4 rows, and stuck yellow onion sets between each row. 

Tomorrow is the time to order the Shiitake spawn for our upcoming Annual Mushroom Workshop.
Sign up - and come have fun with Greg, Hugh, me and a bunch of participants - drilling, dripping hot wax and inoculating logs with sawdust spawn. It's a fun day, and you'll get to pick some beautiful edible incredible mushrooms a year later from your own back yard.
We are trying something new this year - a tasting of some mushroom dishes, and a quick cooking lesson.

There are lots of exciting foodie things happening around Star this year! Farmers markets are gearing up - I'm going to a MCFMA meeting this evening! We'll be discussing how to get the freshest local food to y'all, and how to do it in a fun way.
Sweetness and blooms!