May!!!

cherries-ont-top-green-cherry-early-may-09First a quick update from Cherries-on-Top: in April, Garrick reported a black bear visited, knocking down the two hives that were there for increased pollination.They now have lots of little green cherries on the trees – growing!!! (the photo was taken by Garrick in early May). Not all of the blooms have resulted in cherries – Garrick said lost about 40% of the crop compared to last year due to the frost damage in early April. I for one hope that our cool nights don’t do more damages! I am looking forward to be able to make clafoutis, jam, liqueur, ice-cream, sorbet, sauces and other cherry treats. They do have 11 cultivars including white (really yellow) cherries, so there is a cherry for everybody’s taste.

I meant to post this update 2 weeks ago, but it’s been a crazy last 2 weeks!

In the garden:

  • planted sweet potatoes, then had to rush to cover them with Reemay because the night temperatures dropped down to the 30s.
  • weeding
  • sowed zucchini out, and had to rush out to cover them with glass Mason jars because it was so cold
  • weeding
  • daily watering of 100 tomato plants still in pots is necessary because it’s been too cold to plant them out. Not to mention 48 pepper plants and a few eggplants – and basil
  • weeding
  • emptying the green house, and having to – almost immediately – swather many plants in Reemay – because, you know, it was close to frosting at night!
  • weeding
  • harvesting like crazy: lettuce, radishes, kale, asparagus & spring onions
  • weeding
  • first 2 weekly deliveries of garden produce to a customer took place. The photo below is of the first weekly basket (bushel size) full of lettuces, spinach, three kinds of kales, herbs, radishes, asparagus & spring onions
  • weeding
  • we are now harvesting strawberries. Yeah Tristar!!! and, of course, I have had to cover them to prevent frost damage.
  • weeding
  • pulling out the bolting spinach, and transplanting tatsoi, mizuna and other Asian greens in its spot
  • did I say weeding?

garden-basket-2009-05-04-003

In Rappahannock:

  • feverishly working on out Summer Solstice Farm Dinner on June 20 at Mount Vernon Farm in Sperryville, VA. What an affair this is going to be! If you have not done so yet, take a look!
  • working on our first Rappahannock County Fall Farm Tour which will feature over 21 farms in the county, widely diversified (cattle, sheep, pig lama, vineyards/winery, vegetables, orchard – including heirloom apple orchard never opened to the public before, nurseries, artisanal cheese shop and farm schools). We had our first meeting of all participants yesterday, and everybody is very excited – the room was vibrating with all the ideas for program. We’ll have demos, talk, tastings – a lot of opportunities for interactions with the farmers and for learning about growing food and farming life. I will be posting more information on it over the next few months, but mark your calendar for September 26 & 27
  • Cooking lasagna for 75 and 8 gallons of sauce for the Washington Volunteer Fire & Rescue Squad
  • cooking for several paying customers. Yeah! That’s always good, as the other stuff is all volunteer stuff.

I’ll resume a better posting schedule. Soon. Promise. I have tons of garden photos too, as everything is pushing, flowering, fruiting, bursting – including the weeds! Did I say I was weeding?



4 thoughts on “May!!!”

  • Ooh, tristars are the BEST strawberries. That is so great that you’re getting a harvest of them already.

    Can’t wait to hear more about the farm tour. Maybe I can convince one of my car-owning friends to go out there with me. 🙂

  • Ah! Clafoutis! I make a ton of them and end up eating most of them myself. (Please take pity on me.)

    That is a lot of weeding, girl. Do you mulch? I confess I am a compulsive mulcher, with grass clippings mostly from the lawn. 2-3″ on every square inch of bed, and hugging each plant. It takes time to spread out but considering what it saves me in weeding AND watering it’s well worth it.

  • Amelia – One of the reasons I picked Tristar was their ability to fruit from year 1 (you must pinch off the blossoms for the first 2 months after planting) and they produce until frost. One year we had a few strawberries on the Thanksgiving table – not the most flavorful given how cool it was, but still! Since I don’t want gallons of strawberries at once, It’s nice to have a harvest stretch over so many months, just enough to eat, make some sorbets, and freeze a few for winter smoothies.

    Will definitively post more about the farm tour.

    El: oh I so take pity on you re cherries, girl (wink, wink; cough, cough; laugh, laugh). Oh yes I mulch, but the last couple of months have not seen me as much in the garden as I wish, so things got a little bit out of control. Plus I’ve got new beds on top of old unmanaged fields – so they are lots of firmly established weeds and those suckers have 2 or 3 foot long tap roots which is hard to totally dig out in my clay soil (and they survived solarization/smothering), so they keep coming back through the mulch: chicory, dandelion, dock, burdock, evening primrose, pokeberries etc. One day I’ll vanquish them. But today is not this day. And my paths….

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