Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April planting

April is a cruel month, of course, but also a time when we can start planting.  It's a tentative thing, since April on the Green Mountains means gentle budding alternating with snow, t-shirt days and freezing nights.   March was like this, too, weirdly.

So what can we do?  Our hunger to dig the Earth is huge.  I badly want to take up the shovels and pick when I walk over the land.  But we have to be prudent, lest outgoing winter destroy our labors.

First, we can dig up established plots, and break up new ones.  For example, here's the big southeast patch, which I dug the heck out of:
Each row about 2' wide, each path around a foot.
Ceredwyn sowed it with radishes.  These are quick crops, cycling through in a month and a half.  That means a) yielding food before autumn, and b) getting out of the way in time for June and corn planting.

Second, Ceredwyn tilled up the plot near one of our little ponds, and planted peas.  You can see the fence just behind it, which the pea plants will climb (hopefully).  That's one of the last fence sections to survive last year's drastic septic work:
I really, really want to use those rocks.

Meanwhile, some of the garlic we planted last fall survived winter, grew, and broke into daylight on its own:
Anti-vampire homesteading.

Garlic succeeded in two small spots, actually.  This pictured one is near the new pea plot.  Another is our little patch next to the chimney.  Ah, garlic!

What else are we doing on the land: I keep building drystone walls, picking out rocks from the thawing dirt.  Flowers bloom around Ceredwyn's lovely Venus Cloacina site.  I saw wood against next winter, trying to cut 3-5 pieces per day.  The chickens continue to generously gift us with eggs, more now that there's so much more daylight.  Ceredwyn built a larger enclosure around them, including a nice door.

Today as I blog this is the first day of May, a month which is really spring's own up here.  We have a lot of work to do.
...except when winter thrashes at us, like so:
Sad crocus.


Cumulative Intelligence said...
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Unknown said...

Despite the warm weather of late, I know that if I jump the gun and put the toms and peppers out, a late freeze will likely take its toll. I envy all those rocks - not the "endlessly digging them out of the place I want to plant" aspect, but the "I'm going to build a sweet wall with all these rocks" aspect!