Wishetwurra Farm, early April 2017

Is winter over yet?

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Wishetwurra Farm under snow. 

Winter was as usual, a seesaw between mild and not-so-mild.

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Wishetwurra Farm on a mild early February day.

This morning I once again climbed the Herbert Poindexter Memorial Ladder Section. The view is little different from February’s, except that the green patches of weeds are larger. It seems safe to think that we have seen the last of this winter’s hard freezes. Some of the plants seem to think so. Like the early weeds.

Weeds have their own beauty, and if you’re lucky, they’re edible.

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Weeds. Getting larger. Dead nettle.  This plant is a new invader over the last few years. Some say you can eat the young tops. I have not tried them yet. 

For more on dead nettle, see https://www.bbg.org/news/purple_deadnettle

Then there is the chickweed, proliferating in the cool of early spring.

As usual.

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Chickweed. 

Here’s a chickweed link. https://www.bbg.org/news/weed_of_the_month_chickweed

In this next photo, taken just today, there is a black strip to be seen.

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Wishetwurra Farm, April 6, 2017.

The black strip is from the annual burning-of-the-brushpile. Charcoal. “Bio Char”, to some. It will be incorporated into the soil. The charcoal is supposed to improve soil structure, be a reservoir for good bacteria, and to help retain water and nutrients. The ash component will add potassium, some magnesium, various trace compounds and elements, and will reduce the pH of our perpetually acidifying soil. If I’m avid enough, I’ll add a layer of compost over the charcoal and till it all in before planting. I’m still not sure what will be planted there this year. Maybe the pepper patch?

In the greenhouse, greens are growing, rosemary is blooming, and baby onions and garlic are coming along.

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The allium area. In a couple of old windowboxes, onions and garlic, planted on February 4th, grow slowly but steadily. 

Last year, this thrifty gardener found a just-posted ad for a two-tier plant stand  on a local online classified ad page. He called immediately, and purchased it, for about twenty cents on the dollar. Everyone likes a bargain, especially cheap Yankees.

Now that it’s early spring, the unit is getting a trial, and so far so good…

A forest of lusty tomato and pepper and eggplant plants are flourishing under the lights.

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Baby ‘maters. Read the labels to see some of this year’s varieties. 

In three weeks or so, these tomatoes will be ready to put in larger pots. In another three or four weeks, in late May, they’ll go into the open garden.

Hope springs eternal.

 

 

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