Mayday 2017. Wishetwurra Farm

My father always used to say, “Hurray, Hurray! It’s the First of May!”. He said more after that, but in the interest of keeping this post “family friendly”, I’m going to leave you in the dark about what he said next. If you want a hint, the next sentence rhymed with “Hurray”, and “May”.

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Tulips! Hurray Hurray!

Late last fall I succumbed to the split-cup narcissus and pink-cupped daffodil cut-rate web special offered by my favorite bulb supplier. (Van Engelen). I planted the bulbs by breaking through an inch-thick crust of soil, and with numbed and crossed fingers, covered them with a half a foot of eelgrass mulch, in hopes that there would be no hard freeze. There wasn’t, not for months, and the bulbs took. In late March, the eelgrass started bulging. Under the bulges were yellow leaves, seeking the sun. I raked back the mulch, and here’s what that internet special looks like now.

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The new pink daffodils, Spring 2017, Wishetwurra Farm

From atop the Poindexter Memorial Ladder Section, we see the garden from on high.

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April 30, 2017. The garden is waking. Signs of labor may be seen. There are three doors in this picture. One door has a person in it.

Winter is really, really, gone. Spring has arrived, thankfully without major whipsawing between seventeen and seventy. Once frost stopped, it just stopped. We’ll yet have cool nights from time to time, but the cold seems all the way done for. Our tomato seedlings have been potted up the second time, and have been moved from the house to the greenhouse.

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The freshly-repotted young tomatoes

The Great and Venerable God of Martha’s Vineyard Gardening, Paul Jackson, has already started transplanting his tomato plants to the open garden. Here at Wishetwurra, we’ll wait a few weeks yet.

The first asparagus spears have emerged.

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Asparagus shoots, shooting up.

The first planting of pease has taken hold. Tendrils are out, grasping for hold on the wire trellis.

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The first planting of pease reaches for the heights.

The second planting of pease is well up. These are a short variety, but we really should stake them. Let’s hope we do.

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Pease, glorious pease. Behind them is the strawberry patch, which we’ve thinned and prepped for next months berries. There are still some packages of last year’s berries in the freezer. We’ve got to use them up!

As we shift our gaze to the middle of the garden, more signs of labor, and more signs of growth, are seen. The divots in the right foreground are the “Floriana” corn, which we grow for meal. The new daffodils separate the corn patch from the garlic patch, which is the light-gray area. Below that, the first “miscellaneous” bed is going in…various greens, flowers, carrots, beets, and the first planting of gladiolus. Below that, you see that area of lush green? That’s the last area of spring weeds, growing like crazy.  In the last few weeks, we’ve pulled about a pickup truck load of weeds, which we’ve taken to a nearby neighbor’s chickens.

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Middle of garden. Corn divots to the front, weeds to the back.

Weeds! Anyone want some nice weeds?

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They actually are nice weeds. Mache and claytonia are most of what you see here. We let the “good” weeds go to seed, and eat the results. There’s a lot of chickweed in this picture, but I don’t like chickweed that much. It’s a perfectly good edible, but it tastes so darn “green” that a little goes a long, long way. The chickens can have it.

Here’s the “southern” part of the garden. Just past that little stub fence inside the main fence is the area we call “Mexico”. Nothing has happened there yet, except some weeds at the ends. We’re going to trust Mexico to the care of a tenant farmer this year, as an experiment.

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The south garden. Corn divots to the front. Weeds to the back. Mexico to the right.

The area next to the Mexico fence has been deeply dug, and the soil sifted and sorted for a stubborn infestation of wild bindweed, a type of wild morning glory, a vegetal curse that no gardener should have to deal with. The plant spreads by underground fleshy roots. Leave one little piece of root, and a new plant springs up. Grrrrrrrr.

Why is it here in the garden, you ask? I left an “interesting” volunteer plant alone because it had a pretty flower. That was about ten years ago. The battle goes on still. Grrrrrrrrr.

Do I feel stupid for not getting rid of that plant when it first showed up? Yes. Grrrrrrrrrr.

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Earth next to the Mexico fence, dug and sorted through to remove bindweed roots. One of these days we’ll decide what to plant here. Maybe winter squash. Maybe potatoes.

Dig, dig, dig. Spring is digging time in the garden.

So is summer.

So is fall.

So can be winter, at least on a good day.

Can you dig it?

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5 responses to “Mayday 2017. Wishetwurra Farm

  1. Tell me about it. Digging in lime and organic matter, turning over earthworms, helping them work.

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