Overtime Itza Garden Tour, Wishetwurra Farm, 4/20 to 5/20

You garden fans and maniacs will enjoy this tour.

There will be three sets of photos, taken April 20, May 11, and May 19. There will be three images per set, of three views of the garden. Views are of the North, the Middle, and the South. Pictures were taken from a ladder, the camera at sixteen feet above ground level.

The garden at Wishetwurra Farm is nearing the time of fast growth. Another few weeks and our weather will be truly summery. Right now, even though most of the planting is done, you still see a lot of dirt. By Midsummer,  the garden will have more plant cover than soil.

April 20th. We start at the north end of the garden. From where we look, the ground slopes gently away from us. The “North” is the oldest part of the garden. This portion, about a third, has been in cultivation for over thirty years. By this time in the spring, the possibility of a freeze has gone to near-zero, the outside water has been turned on, and the hose is out. Currants, just outside the fence at the top of the garden, at left, are leafing out. Inside, downslope  andbelow the double-board path, you see the asparagus patch, covered by seaweed mulch. Below that comes the garlic, planted last fall. Then an old  perennial bed, which is being dug out and renovated, followed by a bed of clumpy, turned-over winter rye. The brown strip below the rye  is pine needle mulch over what will be a new strawberry bed.

If I had to specify the date that I first started working the ground up here, it would be March 7, 1970. That was a very special day.

Next, we have the same view, three weeks later. Columbine by greenhouse door has started blooming. Mulch is pulled back on the asparagus, and there’s digging at the lowest part of that patch, where the third row has just been replanted. The sandy colored stripe, below the garlic, marks a row of potatoes. In the upper right back of the image, you see a structure that holds bird netting over the blueberry patch. We don’t mind sharing, but without netting our harvest would be small.

North section, May 19th. That tiny white stake marks a new currant bush.  The newly tilled area below the garlic, with a board in the middle, is newly renovated. Johnson grass was getting established there, and removing those evil roots was a major chore. Two loads of horse manure were then worked into the top 18″ of that area. Plus ashes, bone char and some nitrate. Leeks will make their home here. We hope they’ll thrive and be thick. We won’t pull the last of them until next spring.

Center section. April 20. Looking to the right of the center dividing path…peas are in along upper fence, and  between the pair of boards below them, shallots are planted. The rest of the area betwen the shallots and the red thingies will be for next winter’s onions. The red thingies are cutworm collars (made from red filing folders) on the first planting of coles…broccoli, brussels sprouts, and kales. Below that is a little peapatch, with strawberries to the right. Next down, in the blackish bed, are early greens and chard. Below that, another strawberry patch, and more peas. The long mound below that is a large linear compost heap, for the tomatoes. An experiment in tomato culture. Nearest the bottom fence, that lowest bed received all of last year’s yard leaves, which were rototilled in. In this same area incorporated six truckloads of horse manure, six trash cans of “bio char”—that’s charcoal bits from the spring brush pile burning, and to finish off, we spread around the dregs from last year’s bags of fertilizer. We’ll put a corn patch and maybe winter squash down there. We grow one kind of corn. Fioriana flint corn, a beautiful dark red kerneled maize, for corn meal, which we grind at home.
Center section, May 11. Shallots are greening up, and winter onions are in in the beds below. Cutworm collars have faded to pink. Peas are moving along, as are the greens.
May 19th. Alliums are more visible. Everything else is moving along. White stakes in the long compost heap mark just-transplanted tomato plants. Everything from yellow cherry, early main crop standard varieties, yellow peach, and then five or six varieties of paste tomatoes. We’ll dry these as the harvest comes in.
Lastly, the next three views are of the South end of the garden. This part of the garden is about fifteen years old now. The dirt is finally getting good. There is so much gray clay here that we walk on boards whenever possible, to avoid soil compaction. First image: April 20. The beds in this section, from path to where the green hose is visible, are about 50′ long.
South section, May 11th. Shallots, nearest you, close to the fence, show their lusty growth. We save out the best looking shallots each year, and replant them come the next spring. Our original bulbs were grown from seed. They’re a hybrid variety, “Prisma”, from Fedco Seeds. Most of our seeds come from Fedco. They don’t wast money on a glossy color catalog, so their prices can be half what the boutiquey seed houses charge.
May 19th. South section. To the right of the collared coles has now come the parsley patch, fifty celeriac plants, and a dozen sweet pepper plantss. Hope for good rains, at timely intervals, and relative freedom from pests. We’ve lost a few seedlings to cutworms, slugs and snails. Asparagus beetles have shown up, to be squished. Flea beetles are lacing the bok choi leaves, but they’ve got to eat too.
That’s your tour. Feel free to ask questions. We’ll revisit these overviews about once a month during the growing season. In between times, we’ll zoom in to take in things of interest or of beauty.
Thanks for visiting.

2 responses to “Overtime Itza Garden Tour, Wishetwurra Farm, 4/20 to 5/20

  1. Tom this is stunning! I love the time lapse. I am so glad that you are doing this!!

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