It has been a busy couple of weeks here at the Burch house as we get into the swing of Spring and start out on some new life adventures. I took a part time job here in town at our UFA farm supply store and started a couple weeks ago. I think it was a perfect fit for me and I am settling in quite well with the job. I love getting to chat with the farmers, learn new things from the chicken ladies who come in and put my Vet Tech schooling to some use when it comes to feeds and medications. I don’t think I could have found a better group of ladies to work with either.
We have finally found the sunshine again after what seemed like weeks of rain. While we needed the moisture, I am happy for the sunshine and heat once again. We had been able to get some of our seeds into the garden before the rain; this included: corn, peas, beans, carrots, radish and turnips. This week we have sprouts of radish and peas popping through the soil. On my days off we were able to play around in the garden a little more as it slowly dried enough for planting again. We have transplanted much of what we had left in the greenhouse into the garden and have finally cleared out Dan’s man room in the garage and our kitchen table! We built trellis type ramps for the pumpkin, squash, cucumber, watermelon and cantaloupe we transplanted. They are meant to help support the plant and fruit/vegetable while keeping it off the ground as to not let it rot. We have our onion and garlic plants in, as well as zucchini, broccoli and a tonne of cabbage! Apparently we are good at starting cabbage. I will need to be finding lots of new recipes to try out!
In our raised beds we built out of old rail road ties we planted our tomatoes and peppers. Tomatoes are finicky plants to transplant but we had a couple tricks up our sleeves this year. Thanks to our chickens, we have been saving up all the eggshells from our eggs and keeping them in a container under the sink. When we dug the hole for our tomato plants we filled the bottom with crushed shells to help add calcium and extra nutrients to the soil. Within minutes of hitting the ground, they had begun to droop and look very sad but we weren’t giving up yet. We mixed up a solution of Epsom salts and used this for the first couple of waters. The Epsom salts help to aid the plant with the shock of re planting. In front of the raised beds I have spread out wildflower seeds that are bee, butterfly and beneficial insect friendly flowers.
In the corners of our raised beds we built strawberry towers out of PVC tubing and planted six plants in each. We ran a piece of soaker hose through each pipe, lined it with black geo tarp, and cut holes through the pipe and tarp to stick in the strawberry plants. They look great and I may have already sampled a couple of delicious strawberries! At the inside edge of each box we have also planted dill seeds. Fingers crossed we will have lots for pickling this fall!
This morning we have a couple rows left to seed, including our lettuce and spinach. We have Brussels sprouts and cauliflower still maturing a bit in the greenhouse. And we can’t forget about Dan’s potato boxes! We decided on two this year and they are growing like crazy already. We will soon be onto our second tier! I would have to say we are off to a fantastic start and I am very excited for what this summer will bring, and the reaping we will be rewarded with in the fall!
I have also found the time to attend to my flower beds. With a trip to a cute little greenhouse, where we of course had to stop and visit with the pigs and donkeys, we came home with all the flowers and herbs we needed. I was able to use my Rooster water feature and an old antique door I had found. I am in love with my little front corner garden! We also have hollyhocks coming in nicely, my glads have broke ground and my sweet pea planted in front of an old wagon wheel have sprouted too! We also planted a row of sunflowers over by our fruit trees. Last night we took a little walk back to see how they were coming along and low and behold, we have several leaves popping up. Things are growing here at our house!
Stay tuned for garden progress…and of course a chicken update to follow shortly!!!