April 2016 Wishetwurra Farm Report

Spring! Fickle and mercurial, you are. Use whatever word you choose; seesawing, upanddowny, fluctuating, variable…this spring so far seems as if it has been more changeable than usual. Daytime temperature in the thirties are followed the next day by the sixties.  Nighttime temperatures have been bouncing around, too. They’ve been in the fifties and they’ve been in the teens.

This spring has had some hard edges.

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Cold made ice in a rainfilled wheelbarrow. I had to use the barrow, and pushed it over,  sideways.  In shattered patterns, broken ice lay on new-green grass

We’ve had snow on about half of the days of this last week.

The daffodils were feeling so harassed that they just laid themselves down on the ground.

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In rain, cold, and crummy weather, daffodils will lower their heads, or even fall down on the ground. My stepfather, Everett Whiting, told me this was to protect the insides of the flower where the pollen parts are. Everett was a smart, observant man, a farmer, who died way too early.

The daffodils in the yard were oppressed and flattened by the last week’s lousy weather.

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This morning I looked at the ten-day weather forecast graph.

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Things are looking up. Could last night’s freeze be our last ice-maker of this spring?

Here’s yesterday morning’s view of the Wishetwurra Farm garden. Hello, snow.

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The garden as seen from “on high”. The first spring weeding, mostly for chickweed, is nearly done. The dark horizontal stripes in the left foreground, in the asparagus patch, are a row of pease and a row of fava beans. The dark patch below them has rows of onions and shallots. The rest of the garden waits planting. The garlic is up six inches or more!

Some of last year’s kale plants are still alive.

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That garlic? Here’s some of it.

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Three rows of garlic, three different varieties.

Pease are popping up.

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A pea sprout tests the air.

There’s hope inside the greenhouse, too. Fall-planted greens are thriving. Flats of pease, onions, leeks and greens are coming along. The big old rosemary plant is in bloom.

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The greenhouse cover has gotten opaque. It’s about ten years old, so this will be its last year. A new piece of greenhouse plastic waits in the shed, and later in the year we’ll rebuild and re-cover. We might even move it.

There’s hope inside the house, too, where flats of warm-weather plants are being coddled underneath a skylight. Under these pots is an electric heat mat. Life is cozy for these little ones.

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The tomatoes are making their first true leaves.

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For the scent of a season-to-come, just brush these leaves, and you’ll smell “tomato”.

By next month at this time, the coddled inside plant babies will be potted up and getting acclimated to life in the greenhouse. We’ll have planted out seedlings, and will be seeding in open ground. The new strawberry plants may have come. We will have fixed the fence where the chicken wire has rusted through.

The hummingbirds are getting near, too. They usually show up in the second half of the month, but one showed up early. It arrived  March 31st, over in West Falmouth on Cape Cod. That’s less than twenty miles from here.

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The good folks at hummingbirds.net have put the West Falmouth sighting on their 2016 migration map. If you want to learn more, visit their site! 

That hummer is sign of spring for sure.

It’s time to put out the hummingbird feeders.

Soon the weather will be perfect.

We hope.

 

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