Month of May 2016 Wishetwurra Report, Part One

Less than two months ago there was snow at Wishetwurra Farm.


Wishetwurra Farm, April 5, 2016

That snow was the last of it, but the chilly weather was awful slow to loose its claws. Even the first few weeks of May were backwardsly chilly.

Warm weather has at last arrived. Compost pile squash and tomato seeds from last year have sprouted in the garden. “Volunteers” like these a real sign that the season has turned. Suddenly nights are over fifty, sometimes over sixty degrees. We’ve had lots of sunny days in the seventies and eighties. We’re putting in screens and opening the storm windows.

How quickly did the weather change this year?  A friend remarked, “Wow! Summer already! It was nice to have those three hours of Spring…”

By last week the soil had dried to the point where three days go we had to put out the soaker hose to give the onions and strawberries a drink. Of course, last night rain moved in. In the last twenty-four hours we’ve gotten over a half inch of precipitation. Not the full soaking we’d like, but enough to encourage all the new plants.

May is the month when the garden needs hours and hours of work. We never seem to be able to do everything we’d like to. Maybe if we put a hammock in the greenhouse and had meals sent in? There’s always something we forget to do on time. We don’t think we planted enough pease this year.

Oh well.

Here’s our new feature…the panorama shot.


Wishetwurra Farm, May 31, 2016

This month we have not snow, but rampant growth.

The rate at which plants grow in May is astonishing.

Let’s take a closer look, starting with the north end of the garden.


Outside the fence, currants are loaded with strigs of immature fruit. Inside, asparagus is coming up. pease and fava beans are catch crops in between rows. The solid green patch is early-planted shallots and onions. Then come more onions, and 75 new strawberry plants. At the far end is a double row of garlic and then the corn patch. 

The “middle” view…


Near the fence in the still-dirt area is a last-ditch try-to-catch-up planting of pease. Then last year’s strawberries. In the boxes are the first planting of summer squash, below which are 3 rows of garlic. From the garlic to the boards are beds in various stages of rebuilding…it’s manure-hauling time. The next bed contains peppers, eggplants, greens, etc. Then the tomato bed. Eighteen tomato plants, about three feet apart. Nearer the fence is a bed for “whatevers”…spinach, beets, carrots, etc. What that bed has really been is a cafeteria for slugs and a huge frustration for the gardener. Nearest to the fence are the last of last year’s leeks. They’re sending up buds, so they’re no longer prime eathing. I’m going to let them bloom, because bees and wasps need to eat, too. 

The “South”.


The green lump near the fence is an undisciplined clot of strawberries, from which we hope to salvage a small crop. Then comes the garlic. What are we going to do with all that garlic? Below the garlic you can see some of our bed-preparation digging-holes. Past the stub fence, at the end of the garden, is the pease patch, where not enough pease are. 

Over the last two weeks, transplants have steadily gone out of the greenhouse and into the garden. Here they are, staged outside the door.


How many different seedlings can you find and name?

Friends have been getting surplus seedlings of all sorts. Our Indian friend Uma came by today and took away some baby leeks and onions. She left us with a big supper’s worth of wicked good, real-deal chicken curry. Another friend took a mess of leeklets and left a dozen eggs of pastel hues. Trading is so much more fun than spending.

Inside the greenhouse, on the north side,  we’ve planted peppers, eggplants and tomatoes, to see what kind of results might be gotten from putting these heat-loving plants in a nice hot summer greenhouse.


Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant on the north side of the greenhouse. At the far end is a ten or fifteen year old rosemary bush. 

That’s the Memorial Day Weekend Wishetwurra Farm Garden Report.

In our next report we’ll admire the plants from closer-up.




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