Saturday, June 9, 2012

Spring Sprang and Here We Go Again

Softneck garlic - huge bulbs!
So things were pretty quiet during the winter. It was mild, and we had a very successful second year with our Winter CSA subscription at Everblossom Farm. There is something extra special about being able to get fresh, locally grown produce through the winter.

Now I am back, and google has a new look to their blogging interface. Not sure I like it, not sure I like any of the austerity measures they've put into their interfaces. Not sure I get it. But, in any case, so it is. Free is free.

We've really just started the local produce season, but it is off to an auspicious start for me. Last Fall I dragged the 8'x8' raised sandbox I made for my son when he was little out into the front yard, next to the fenced in raised bed of last season, and filled it with various soils. I can't recall whether I posted anything about that. One would definitely wonder why. I haven't had a successful season of gardening just about any food of my own in some 10+ years of trying. I mean, I can grow oregano in the yard, and mint.. neither of which, in truth, can be killed by the strongest of wills... but actual Summer veggies have failed or done poorly. So, I tried again.

This time I planted softneck garlic in the raised box. I planted them in early November, I think, or late October. I decided to try softneck because they will last longer than hardneck garlic. Indeed, based on what I've read, I don't understand why most people plant hardneck garlic. It starts sprouting or softening within a few months and even the most dedicated of garlic eaters would have trouble finishing 30-50 heads of garlic before it goes. In any case, I went with softneck. Last year I planted hardneck, and I did get garlic. I posted about that. I was thrilled. My largest bulb was the size of a large walnut! But hey, it was garlic. And, honestly, even though it was hardneck, stored in the dark basement it lasted me, without softening/sprouting issues, through to mid-winter.

A few weeks ago, some of the garlic fell over. I thought it was the storms. Not quite sure what to do. I thought you harvested garlic here in late June. Thankfully, I decided a few days later to do some googling on the subject. With softneck, when the garlic falls over, you better pull it. So, we did. And we had a few bulbs that were large walnut size, but mostly we had big fat bulbs!! big! fat ! bulbs! i'm totally excited.

And, on top of that, I also through beet seeds in that bed early spring. I have never successfully grown any actual beet, though I have gotten some greens. When I pulled the garlic, I also pulled five large beets from the ground. Woo-hoo!
my beets.. not huge, but not bad!

AND, there are peas.. which probably need to be harvested today...

in the meantime, I put some tomato plants into the raised compost bed from last year. Last year the not-done compost that I paid a fortune for killed off all of my plants. like seriously sucked them of their life blood and killed them. I am hoping that a year on the compost is more giving. We'll see. I have been growing chard in it over the spring, and that has been producing, but I think chard is pretty easy to grow.

So, I'm like a real farmer.

And, on top of that, I joined the Love Dove Farms CSA. I profiled John Dove last spring and I am thrilled to support him as he tries to convert the family farm, or a part of it, into an organic produce farm. There was a great article about him and the farm in last month's Howard magazine. Take a Look. I'll let you know how the CSA goes.