Spring tour

Well, how about I give a little tour of the things that are growing in our yard right now, eh? Right this way…

First up we have the peas. These are first in line because they are the most vigorous growers in the ground so far this year. Here we have Super Sugar Snap in the foreground, and Golden Sweet Snow behind. They are still a little close together, but I will wait and see this week and then decide which ones can be culled. The Super Sugar Snap we bought last year when we were planning our garden at the other house, and they were cheap because they were the previous year’s seed. I over sowed them, hoping to counteract any viability problems. It seems to me that they all germinated just fine, so I have already thinned them once, and may do it once more. You can just barely make out the radishes that are growing “inside” the pea tent. I put them in there hoping that they would reach maturity before the peas obscured the sun. I think it will work!

Now we will move on to the turnips (Milan Purple Top) which went in at the same time as the radishes, having a similar growth habit. We don’t really know what we think of turnips quite yet as we have never eaten them. This crop will determine whether we grow them again for fall, or ever.

And then we have the onions that were started indoors in February. They are thickening up nicely and seem to be thriving. We have onion sections on each end of this first bed, and will have another section or two in the other beds for the sets. There are also a few other things in this bed, but I will wait until they are a little further along before I introduce them.

That is it for the veggies for now. I have a lot more still under the grow lights, and as tiny sprouts in parts of the garden, so they will make their debut soon.

There is more than vegetables growing in our yard… We have fruit trees and bushes too! The apples are showing buds, although it looks like out yield this year will be very light. It is to be expected for newly planted young trees, I am sure. I am not sure which tree this is, but it could be one of either Jonathan, Golden Delicious, or Matsu. We have a map that gives the varieties of the fruit trees and bushes, but Bea has it filed away somewhere (we will dig it up later in the summer). They all have reddish orange flowers, but very different bark.

A little farther along in the bloom are the cherries! Three of the four have blossoms, but only two have more than a couple. Two of the cherries are Regina and the others are Montmorency and Stella. Again, I am not sure which is which at the moment…

One look at these and I am very excited for the future promises of this tree in spring! I also note that cherries have a peculiar growth habit. They look very much like alien growths early on with tentacles and red glands.

Of the four blueberry bushes, only one is flowering this year. While I am happy for the advanced sexual maturity of this one plant, I am sad that I will have to remove any flowers that bloom in order to admonish it towards enhanced root growth. Next year will be the same, and by the third year, I hope my patience will pay off. This too is a specific variety of blueberry that will have to await future identification.

In addition to our “edibles” we have some more functional plants. There are the Cascade hops. Although it is a well known variety used for brewing beer, the primary objective was lots of large leaves. Bea ordered 6 rhizomes and has buried them in strategic places to enhance or obscure aesthetic features of the yard. The plan is to erect a trellis over the cement pad that used to be covered by the pump house and well. The trellis is not there yet, but the hops are going in anyway and we may end up with a large green spread where the cement used to be. We will keep them cut back, and put in the trellis in the fall for next spring. Some of the others are along the boundary fence to create a wall of green. If we end up with hops to harvest, I know a few people who brew that would probably welcome them into their wart. I do have a picture, but they just emerged from the ground and are hard to see. As they are one of the fastest growing plants you can get, it will not be long before I can take a good picture.

And that brings us to our last stop for today. We also have some beautiful volunteers. I say volunteers because I do not remember seeing these lady’s leaves last summer. I won’t say they were not there, but we were definitely pleasantly surprised when they arrived. There are another few mixed in with the yucca, and they really do not look too comfortable there.

Thank you for joining me, and I hope yo have enjoyed your tour. Make sure to stop by the gift shop on your way out and buy worthless pieces of junk that you will either throw away, or store indefinitely, but never use. Ba-bye!

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Hey, I run the place.

11 thoughts on “Spring tour”

  1. What? I don’t see a gift shop! Where is it? I need to buy postcards! And a Michigan shot glass!

    Great tour! Looks like things are taking off very nicely! I am sure blueberry self-control will pay off big time!

    How are the chicks doing?

  2. Thanks for the great tour. I’m really excited for you guys– you are going to be SO BUSY keeping up with all that produce this summer! I wish you lived closer, we’d be happy to take some off your hands, as our garden is getting off to a very late start this year.

  3. Mom: The chicks are… ugly. They have the feathers to say that they will one day be beautiful, but I would say they are still in 6th or 7th grade.

    Ariana: Our growing season is short enough that we really have to get busy early if we want anything at all. We swing from cool to hot rather quickly so you put in those cool weather plants as early as you possibly can. Many folks around here will start seedlings indoors in January and February. I did start my onions and leeks at the end of February, but they still look pretty small… Yes, we will be busy, but we look forward to it. As to sharing, we do hope to produce enough to can and share, so fear not! We do like the idea of family living closer though…

  4. Ahhhh, I loved the tour. The pictures are beautiful and I really got a sense of the yard. What a treat all of your foliage is! I especially love the tulips. they are a personal favorite. =)

  5. We like the tulips too, and now are adding bulbs to our list of plantings for fall. I am also looking into planting grape hyacinth and crocuses in with the grass… They are such a treat early in spring.

  6. Congrats on living out your dream! You guys are really making it happen. All your pictures are beautiful and make us jealous. Makes me wanna learn how to work a real camera.

  7. Of course that is exactly what I would want you to think… Keep in mind that I did not post pictures of the poor wilted sprouts that were destroyed by frost, or the leaking roof that flooded the upstairs carpet, or the chicks in this intermediate awkward-ugly stage, or the apple tree that started budding and then died. But yes, we are living our dream, which includes the freedom to fail at trying something we want to do pretty badly. Privately we refer to it as “the experiment” because that is how it all feels. The best part is the freedom to try.

  8. beautiful. totally diggin the flowering blueberry-ness. lay that firm foundation man_shack! why do you have to cut the flowers to grow the roots though? wierdness. that looks like so much work/fun. I will have to come out to see it soon!

  9. Come on up! On the topic of blueberry discipline, it is not really the flowers that are the problem but the fruit. When a plant produces fruit, a significant amount of the energy goes into making them, and less of that energy is available for other types of growth. So by removing the flowers, they will not have fruit to produce, and will put the energy into other growth. Because the leaf growth has already occurred by the time the flowers are in bloom, the majority of the growth is in the roots, which is good because blueberries have shallow roots. Teen pregnancy is a problem with plants too.

  10. I love seeing your wonderful farm!And your enthusiasm is so refreshing. I wish I had a little more room for veggies. This year we have just 3 tomato plants. Love Grandma

  11. There are some things to love about Michigan and you captured them.

    did you try searching CSA in your area that may help you find a community supported farm that you were asking about I know that I have found a few last year.

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