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Busy, Busy

May 14, 2012

Hummingbird in King apple.

The spring we’ve been waiting for three years has finally arrived.  A week of dry weather!  Subsequently we’ve been very busy.

Hardy Kiwi.

We’ve had record-breaking heat the last few days, although last week we had a hard enough frost to set back covered tomatoes in the greenhouse, and nip the hardy kiwi in the buds too.  I was sad about the kiwi, but took great joy in seeing blackened tips on the Himalayan blackberries.  Bittersweet that frost.  You know you’re old when you start telling stories about the worst sunburn you ever had, and it was the last time Oregon had record-breaking May heat and it was in the 70’s 😉  Now I’m just tanning my raven’s feet around my eyes!

When you live in a marginal farming area like I do, you remember the once every 7 year pear harvest and you can pear sauce to beat the band.  This year I think I’ll be able to replenish the applesauce stash too!  We’ll be in tall cotton come September when it comes to apples, pears and prunes 🙂

Despite the warm weather, and the frost, I’m just about ready to start planting some garden.  It’s funny how the first sunny day everyone thinks they are late planting, or cutting hay, and really for here, it’s just about right to start planting, not late, just right.  The cows are settled into the once a day paddock shift, they are growing heavy with calf, as is Jane.  I’m projecting thoughts about Jane’s grandma, Lee, onto Jane.  Hardly a sweeter cow lived, never lifted a hoof, or tried any shenanigans at milking time.  Fingers crossed the sweetness skips a generation, Jane’s mama Della had to “ease” into the milking routine, we made it through but I was about 14 years younger at the time…

Anyway, just a quick report from this neck of woods, I have to fly at it now.  What’s happening at your digs?

26 Comments leave one →
  1. May 14, 2012 10:02 am

    Lots and lots of planting and seed starting. It’s nice to have this weather so much earlier than last year. I don’t think I seeded for basil until the end of June last year. Every year I say I’m going to build a germination cabinet and I never do it. At least this year I didn’t really need it.

    • May 15, 2012 5:09 am

      Joanne, some of my basil froze in the greenhouse 😦 And now I’m behind on my seeding, I see a gap in harvest already because of it 😦 But gosh, this weather sure has felt nice compared to the last few springs!

      • May 15, 2012 11:20 pm

        I hear ya on the basil! I lost all of my early cucumber and summer squash plants as well as a little patch of bush beans. But that’s the thing, we gamble on the weather being right, or at least tolerable. But ya rolls the dice and ya takes yer chances. I lost on the cukes, squash and beans, but the cardoons just hund out and didn’t worry about a trifling thing like frost. Gotta love that 😉

  2. May 14, 2012 10:27 am

    much of the same… Only that I rolled the dice and came up bad with an early sowing of beans. I’ll be buying another couple pounds of bean seed this week…. Our milker (goat) has settled down nicely now… And her daughter is growing like a weed, as are the weeds for that matter….

  3. May 14, 2012 10:28 am

    We have a dry week ahead, too. We’re scrambling to build our new cedar raised beds, having abandoned the old in-ground plot to go back to paddock and ripped out the old broken-concrete-chunk-lined (PITA) raised beds. We won’t be ready to plant until next week, most likely. Pasture grass looks great. I noticed this morning that a couple of local farmers are doing square bales right now instead of the customary haylage. Incredible.

    • May 15, 2012 5:07 am

      Amy, yeah we saw few balers out of sheds too! I’ve almost forgotten what a real spring feels like!

  4. Bee permalink
    May 14, 2012 11:29 am

    Same here; had to start irrigating in addition to the other routine chores. I was behind before, now I’m really behinder!! And hubby is laid up with a back injury….

  5. May 14, 2012 4:28 pm

    Same old. Moving cows, getting ready to plant, was complaining about no grass, now complaining that the cows aren’t keeping up and I’ll probably have to mow : )

  6. May 14, 2012 6:34 pm

    Just planted my squash that were greenhouse started! This week is supposed to be warm 80’s, last week was wet. Just sampled my first radish this evening!!

  7. Dawn permalink
    May 14, 2012 9:12 pm

    Bees everwhere in the apple blossom, started eating rhubarb about 2 weeks ago, not tired of it yet. Haymaking going on like crazy round about here – first time in seems like forever that they’ve had more than a few days straight sun when the grass is actually right for cutting. I’m seeing the watch line on my wrist, so I know I’ve gotten some sun!

  8. May 15, 2012 1:58 am

    Caring for (50) 2 week old broilers, cleaned the chicken coop, weaned a calf using a Quiet -Wean tab, and moved them out together onto 24 hrs a day grass. Now we start the move every day.

    Not much done in the garden due to rain, but I have hopes for Wednesday, when it stops…

    But I can not remember a sweeter smelling Spring in decades. So many plants are so far ahead of their normal cycle, and lasting for 2 -3 times their normal span of flowering, that it smells gorgeous around here. May is always the best month, but this year….

    • May 15, 2012 5:05 am

      Pam, I agree, we usually get rain at this time, but the blossoms and the scent are just divine. Normally we just watch out the window as the rain knocks off the flowers – not this spring 🙂

  9. May 15, 2012 4:23 am

    Enjoying the warm weather! We can’t really plant much of a garden this year, cabin construction comes first. 😉 But I won’t be able to help myself from planting a few items! My milk cow has started playing tricks and won’t let down for me. I am new to milking and here we are at another first. Ah, ranch life!


  10. May 15, 2012 11:12 am

    I have been trundling around the apples in the evening (wine glass in hand I must confess, makes it more pleasurable) thinning like mad. The fruit set this year is off the hook. And behind in everything else…how is it possible that I have no salad greens in the ground? But loving the sun (and resenting my day job). Up to my eyeballs in bee swarms and asparagus, so no complaints, really.

    • May 15, 2012 7:19 pm

      Spudlust, maybe the wine is what’s missing here – this is going to be a major fruit year, I hope I can get to the thinning, but it always seems to fall to the wayside 😦

  11. May 15, 2012 4:29 pm

    Busy week for us too. The ‘official’ last frost date is today so we’re putting the first greenhouse stuff in the ground. I’ll wait till next week to put in the tender stuff outside. we’re transplanting celeriac tonight. lots of quack grass in the new garden, its a pain.

  12. Ien in the Kootenays permalink
    May 17, 2012 5:24 pm

    Busy and lovely here as well. (South-East B.C.) It is the first time since at least 2008 that the peak of blossom time has coincided with nice weather. The frost spared us, but people nearby did get hit. I threw some Reemay over the tomatoes that night. Once again, I am spending too much time on potting up perennials for the farmers market. I think this will be my last year doing that. At least I have lots of plants started in the greenhouse. Planted a gorgeous row of Brussel’s sprouts yesterday. Some snow peas up in generous containers, I still don’t have the poles and net up. Can only work about 4 hours a day right now, need 12….

  13. Racquel permalink
    May 21, 2012 10:03 pm

    You might get a kick out of this. The last couple of years I have gone nuts trying to keep ahead of the weeds in our garden and told my husband that I would not put in a garden again until we found a way to get rid of the darn weeds to a reasonable extent. So I came up with the idea of fencing the majority of our garden and putting a couple of goats in there for the summer. So we put up the electric fence (6 or 7 strands and only about 3.5 ft tall), went to the auction and got two cute little goats for $25 each. Not bad I thought. We put the goats out there and pretty soon they are missing. They made it a quarter mile through the woods to our neighbor. “Fence must be off” I thought. So we put them in a pen for a few days until we can check out the fence. Judging by the zapping my husband got the fence was working just fine so we put them back in. I turn around for 15 seconds and one of the little darlings is out eating the blue berries. After we get our excersize (chasing the goat) and put her back in the field she hops right through the fence and heads for the berries again. We tried putting the goats in the same pasture with our sheep but they just keep escaping under or over the fences. Now the goats are in a holding pen where they aren’t doing anything but being waited on with deliveries of free hay and grain. We did put a couple of young Katada sheep out in the garden and the weeds are disapearing day by day. Maybe by late summer I will try to plant some fall veggies. So that’s what’s going on in the weed infested fields of Virginia.

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