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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Early spring tour

Let's take an early spring tour ... First, we have the bigleaf maple blooming ... if you look closely you can see the bracts are protruding from calyxes -- I separate the one from the other when harvesting, and the pollen-rich flowers go into breads, soups, salads, griddle cakes, souffles, and quiche.

These onions, shown here with an elephant garlic and a Swiss chard plant, wintered over and are getting ready to bloom.

Planting. I'm too old to do this without sitting down or kneeling on padding, and am pretty much married to the gardener's kneeler these days. Compost/potting soil in the bucket is spread in the holes in the mulch, and things like spinach, turnips, carrots, chard, peas, kohlrabi, lettuce, and kale seeds are spread over the "hill", misted, and then gently covered with more potting soil. This gets around the problem of very cold, very wet garden soil underneath the beds. Later, I'll loosen the deeper soil around the plants with a deep-digging fork, but no tilling or spading is planned. I made the right-angled trowel this morning, after seeing one in Eliot Coleman's book (which I strongly recommend). The trowel seems much improved, at least for the way I like to do things.

Sylvester and Sweet Susannah sun themselves along the property line, behind the new pear and cherry trees. An Araucana forages in the foreground.

The Annies (Ancona ducklings) go for a walk.

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