December 2015 Wishetwurra Farm Garden Report

Frosts, we have now had enough frosts to kill marigold and tomato and pepper, frosts enough to leave moribund the dill and fennel, and frosts enough to turn asparagus fronds from green to gold.

It IS the first week of December, after all.

But the frosts have been few. Inside the little greenhouse, greens are thriving.

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ext spring’s first spinach has emerged. Just for grins, as the Midwesterners might say, I planted a row of ten mixed double white and dark purple tulip bulbs in between a row of red lettuce and the corner horseradish plant.

For this brief bit of work, an extra-early bouquet will be our reward.

As we near that time and orbital place when and where our earth’s  twenty-three and a half degree axial tilt gives us northern hemisphere folks the longest nights and shortest days of the year, it’s been so warm that you might think that winter won’t be coming this year. But that’s surely a false hope, for winter will come, water will freeze, and most of the rest of the still-green plants will die.

From the humble heights of the Poindexter Memorial Ladder Section (as leaned upon the roof of the Horse Barn) we again see the Wishetwurra Farm Garden. As the solstice nears, the sun is low in the southern sky. Even before midday, the shadows are long and strong.

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The sharp-edged shadow in the foreground is the “goat barn”. Look carefully, and you’ll see my shadow, arm and camera held up high.

In the left foreground, once-green asparagus is gold. Below that is mess and mulch from where carrots and celeriac have recently been pulled. They’re in the “root cellar” now. Then comes the fall coles patch, and then, a green patch of cover crop oats.

On the right side of the path, front to back, are strips of cover crops and tired beds that have given up for the year. The dark stripe is ground planted to garlic and mulched with eelgrass (Zostera marina). Below that is the green of this year’s corn patch, planted to oats and tillage radish.

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Below the former corn patch are mixed beds which still need to be weeded and prepped for next spring. There’s a long pile of leaves yet to be tilled in, and at bottom near the fence, deeply mulched with eelgrass, are the winter’s leeks.

The far left section, known as “Mexico”, has oats and radish cover crop.

The blank-looking unplanted far back corner is where the war against bindweed has been unfolding over the last few years. It’s likely that that entire area will have to be hand dug and sifted through to get rid of the thick white roots, the least piece of which can grow a new plant.

 

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Winter is almost upon us, though it sure doesn’t seem like it.

While we were in the upper back yard the other day, inspecting the fruit trees planted last year, we found something.

Hiding under the leaves of the “granny smith” apple tree that we won at a raffle at our grandson’s nursery school was a single ripe apple, peeking greenly at us from under faded leaves.

Christine picked it, we took it inside, and I cut it into sections.

We ate it.

The first fruit!

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3 responses to “December 2015 Wishetwurra Farm Garden Report

    • Quick answer: No. Longer answer: The only time I rinse my weed is by default, when a load of weed I’ve collected sits around and gets rained on before it gets spread. That said, I try to keep in mind that some vegetables are less fussy about salinity than others. Beets, Cabbage Family, Asparagus, and Spinach don’t care much about a little salt. Some people actually keep weeds down in their asparagus with salt applications. Solanaceae—the potato/tomato family are quite tolerant. Many folks prefer seaweed above all other mulches for potato hilling.
      Lettuces and squashes don’t mind, either. It’s said that celery doesn’t like salt, but I get monster celeriac, and it gets mulched with seaweed. How do I take prohibitions on allowing salt in the garden? —With a grain of salt.

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