Last weekend we took a spontaneous trip to our local garden nursery. Oh, the goodies we came home with! Raspberries, elderberries, blueberries —all native to our area—along with passionfruit (or lilikoi, as we like to call it), which feels like a botanical leap of faith for our zone. We have big plans for a massive blueberry hedge, but for now we’re starting small, with just four plants. Before we get too hedgy, we need to erect a few more fences to keep the bears, the hares, and the chickens away from the fruit.
In other botanical leaps of faith, we created several native wildflower beds around the property. The deer and bear still walk right on through, of course. But. I hope that whatever is left behind, after they’ve thinned it out, will be beautiful. You never know with wildflowers. I purchased several 'pollinator attractors' and specifically varieties that honey bees love. Fingers crossed they do well. I’m pretty blown away by the germination rate, so we're off to a good start.
Speaking of berries, I recently transplanted 130 strawberry plants out one of my greens beds, and into a newly renovated bed by the driveway, bringing us to over 200 plants. For the first time ever, I’m expecting more than a handful of strawberries this year. That is, if the boy can resist picking all the green ones, like he did last year. I’m ready to get my jam on!
I seeded the other side of the driveway with my usual zinnia, sunflower, cosmos, broom corn mix. My, how the pollinators love those blooms! Just beyond that lies our potato bed. If they do well, I could potentially harvest one hundred pounds of yellow fingerlings. That feels like enough to last us through the winter. I don’t know for sure, I’ve never kept track of how many 5# bags I buy, but whoa — one hundred pounds! I'm inspired.
I had a few spinach plants miraculously overwinter, thanks in part to my little hoop houses. We’ve already had a few spinach salads, and now, with fresh greens on my plate, I’m more impatient than ever to stop buying them from the market. Over the last several weeks, I’ve seeded the first round of greens including various lettuces, arugula, red & green mustard, pak choi, chard, three varieties of kale, mizuna, and spinach. Onions, and radishes are up, too.
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and green cabbage. Full disclosure here: we did not start those beautiful brassicas from seed. Well, we did in fact seed brassicas, but three days after the seedlings were transplanted to the garden the snails had their way with them. Those rascals left me with nothing but roots. I purchased these starts about a month ago, and at a buck a piece, I think I got a fine deal.
Things will really start getting busy in the next few weeks. We've had light frosts the last few nights on the mountain, but soon enough, we'll be planting our chiles and tomatoes, and seeding all the in-betweens. Until then, I'll happily enjoy my greens.