In the last couple weeks we've transplanted and direct-seeded several types of soybeans, transplanted amaranth and quinoa, planted many types of corn and transplanted squash as part of Celt's "reinvigorate the Navajo Grey Hubbard" project.
I also decided, spur of the moment, to do some root crop dry farming trials. I have several varieties of carrots, beets, and some daikon and we'll see if any are better than the others with the dry farming methods.
Dusty installed our bean trellis poles last weekend and I strung up the wires. The beans planted May 10 are all up and growing and the beans planted on May 16 are starting to come up as well. Pretty quick this year, so we're pleased. The season seems to be off to a great start despite the cool, rainy spring.
It is great living on-site, and I have so far had time to keep on top of weeds and wheel-hoeing the pathways. I intend to keep on top of it throughout the season. The wheel-hoe is so pleasant to use, I wish I could afford to buy my own. I borrow Dusty's wheel hoe but since he uses it for his farm, I only use it in the evenings or weekends, as I don't want to hog it up when one of his staff might need it. His generosity in letting me borrow tools is not to be taken for granted! I hope in the future I can get a grant for the project to buy some tools. The first thing I'd get is a Glaser Wheel Hoe.
I hope you are all jumping into the gardening season and enjoying every rare drop of sunshine we are getting!
Well, aren’t we lucky! An entire day without rain. Actually, two. But today was the day the soil was dry enough to till. And with 100% rain forecast for tomorrow, it appears it may be the only day in the first half of May that tilling has the opportunity to occur. I feel eternally grateful that Dusty was able to squeeze in my needs this morning, in and around the zillion other tilling and dry day tasks that he was rushing around doing. The second he began tilling my late-season planting area, I dove in, with transplants, seeds, trench-digging hoe, clipboard, stakes, sharpies, and measuring devices flying in all directions. I had no time to lose. With only two hours between the soil prep and the time I needed to leave for doctor’s appointments in town, I was determined to do as much as possible in the fluffy new soil. I have had enough of planting after the pounding rains have compacted the ground.
I was in paradise. Today was one of those days when you realize that the depth of joy and contentment welling up inside is unsurpassable, and a pure sign that you are doing exactly what you ought to be. I finally feel like a farmer. I want to do this more now than ever. And right in tune with how a farmer ought to be prioritizing life, I called up and cancelled my doctor’s appointment. It seemed like the stupidest thing in the world to leave the field when this may be the one and only day I get to feel the warm, cool, softness that is newly tilled, moist soil in the sunshine. So my two hours turned into five (I didn’t cancel the massage appointment I had later in the day, as I knew I’d need it!). And I planted 14 varieties of dry bush beans (20’ each), a 100’ row of pole beans (10 varieties), transplanted garbanzos, corn, and storage onions, and marked beds for millet, quinoa, and soybeans. Everything is immaculately staked, labeled, and measured for ease of comparing yields. Rows are evenly spaced. Pole beans are marked for pole installation.
It’s been a challenging spring. The early stuff has lots of grass coming up already, because it wasn’t properly tilled (didn’t get the right weather). I gave it a good hoeing last night, though, so it’s fairly well under control. I wish you all the best despite the challenges. May your gardens also thrive in the face of cool temps and rain rain rain.
Krista is a life-long resident of Whatcom County, Washington State. She has been gardening and farming in the area for over 15 years.